The role of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of osteoarthritis: a European viewpoint

M. Dougados

Rheumatology B Department, René Descartes University, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France.

Despite the fact that there is no scope for an inflammatory process in a strict definition of osteoarthritis (OA), inflammation nevertheless seems to be of great relevance in understanding not only the occurrence of the disease but also its propensity and/or persistence. Longitudinal epidemiologic studies suggest that inflammation - defined by the presence of synovitis within the joint cavity - is a potent predisposing factor for cartilage breakdown. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have demonstrated their beneficial short term, rapid-acting effect. However, two questions remain: the choice of NSAIDs versus analysis as first line therapy for symptomatic treatment in OA, and the long-term structural effect of such therapy.

Key words
Osteoarthritis, inflammation, arthroscopy.

Please address correspondence and reprint requests to: Maxime Dougados, MD, René Descartes University, Cochin Hospital, Rheumatology B Department, 27 rue de Faubourg Saint Jacques, 75014 Paris, France.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2001; 19 (Suppl. 25): S9-S14.
© Copyright Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2001.