The following article is part of conference coverage from the IASP 2018 conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Clinical Pain Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in pain medicine. Check back for the latest news from IASP 2018.

Hyaluronic acid therapy may be more effective when supplemented with intra-articular platelet-rich plasma injections vs alone in treating primary knee osteoarthritis, according to a study to be presented at the 2018 World Congress on Pain, held September 12-16, in Boston, Massachusetts.

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In this randomized clinical trial, researchers sought to establish whether a combination of platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid therapy would have synergistic effects for the treatment of primary knee osteoarthritis. Both therapies have been used separately to improve lubrication, modulate inflammation, and modify the catabolic microenvironment in this patient population.

A total of 74 patients with primary knee osteoarthritis were assigned to receive platelet-rich plasma alone or in combination with hyaluronic acid. They were assessed 1 week and 1 and 3 months after treatment for pain intensity (using a visual analog scale [VAS]) and functional improvement (using the International Knee Documentation Committee [IKDC] score).

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Both mean VAS scores (at all follow-ups) and mean IKDC were reduced to a greater extent in patients who received platelet-rich plasma in combination with hyaluronic acid vs alone (VAS scores: 4.01±0.10 vs 3.01±0.12, respectively; IKDC scores at 1 month, 46.35±8.87; at 3 months, 62.06± 5.37).

“Intra articular platelet-rich plasma in combination with hyaluronic acid therapy provides better pain relief and improvement of functional status than platelet-rich plasma therapy alone in primary knee osteoarthritis,” concluded the study authors.

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Akhtaruzzaman A, Rahman M, Rahman S, Bhowmick D. Effects of platelet rich plasma in combination with hyaluronic acid in the treatment of primary knee osteoarthritis. Presented at: World Congress on Pain 2018; September 12-16, 2018; Boston, MA. Poster 64196.