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    Zoledronic acid reduces knee pain and bone marrow lesions over 1 year: a randomised controlled trial. Laslett Laura Louise,Doré Dawn A,Quinn Stephen J,Boon Philippa,Ryan Emma,Winzenberg Tania Maree,Jones Graeme Annals of the rheumatic diseases OBJECTIVES:To compare the effect of a single infusion of zoledronic acid (ZA) with placebo on knee pain and bone marrow lesions (BMLs). METHODS:Adults aged 50-80 years (n=59) with clinical knee osteoarthritis and knee BMLs were randomised to receive either ZA (5 mg/100 ml) or placebo. BMLs were determined using proton density-weighted fat saturation MR images at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Pain and function were measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS) scale. RESULTS:At baseline, mean VAS score was 54 mm and mean total BML area was 468 mm(2). VAS pain scores were significantly reduced in the ZA group compared with placebo after 6 months (-14.5 mm, 95% CI -28.1 to -0.9) but not after 3 or 12 months. Changes on the KOOS scales were not significant at any time point. Reduction in total BML area was greater in the ZA group compared with placebo after 6 months (-175.7 mm(2), 95% CI -327.2 to -24.3) with a trend after 12 months (-146.5 mm(2), 95% CI -307.5 to +14.5). A greater proportion of those in the ZA group achieved a clinically significant reduction in BML size at 6 months (39% vs 18%, p=0.044). Toxicity was as expected apart from a high rate of acute phase reactions in treatment and placebo arms. CONCLUSIONS:ZA reduces knee pain and areal BML size and increases the proportion improving over 6 months. Treatment of osteoarthritis may benefit from a lesion specific therapeutic approach. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ACTRN 12609000399291. 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200970
    A protocol for a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to compare the effect of annual infusions of zoledronic acid to placebo on knee structural change and knee pain over 24 months in knee osteoarthritis patients - ZAP2. Aitken Dawn,Laslett Laura L,Cai Guoqi,Hill Catherine,March Lyn,Wluka Anita E,Wang Yuanyuan,Blizzard Leigh,Cicuttini Flavia,Jones Graeme BMC musculoskeletal disorders BACKGROUND:Bisphosphonates are a class of drugs that slow bone loss and are a promising candidate to treat knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients. In a pilot study, we demonstrated that zoledronic acid reduced knee pain and size of subchondral bone marrow lesions (BMLs) over 6 months in knee OA patients with significant knee pain and BMLs. A longer, larger study is required to assess whether decreases in BML size will translate to reductions in cartilage loss over time. We are currently conducting a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over 24 months that aims to compare the effect of annual infusions of zoledronic acid to placebo on knee structural change (assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) and knee pain in knee OA patients. METHODS:Two hundred sixty-four patients with clinical knee OA, significant knee pain and subchondral BMLs present on MRI will be recruited in Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. They will be randomly allocated to the two arms of the study, receiving an annual identical intravenous infusion of either 100 mL of fluid containing zoledronic acid (5 mg/100 mL) or placebo (0.9% NaCl 100 mL), at baseline and 1 year later. MRI of the study knee will be performed at screening, month 6 and 24. Knee structure, symptoms and function will be assessed using validated methods. The primary outcome is absolute change in tibiofemoral cartilage volume (mm) over 24 months. Secondary outcomes include improvement in knee pain over 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months and reductions in BML size over 6 and 24 months. The primary analyses will be intention-to-treat analyses of primary and secondary outcomes. Per protocol analyses will be performed as the secondary analyses. DISCUSSION:This study will provide high-quality evidence to assess whether zoledronic acid has a novel disease modifying effect in OA by slowing cartilage loss and reducing pain. If zoledronic acid proves effective, it suggests great potential for cost savings through a delay or reduced need for joint replacement surgery, and potential for great improvements in quality of life for OA suffers. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12613000039785 , registered on 14 January 2013. 10.1186/s12891-018-2143-2
    Effect of Intravenous Zoledronic Acid on Tibiofemoral Cartilage Volume Among Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis With Bone Marrow Lesions: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Cai Guoqi,Aitken Dawn,Laslett Laura L,Pelletier Jean-Pierre,Martel-Pelletier Johanne,Hill Catherine,March Lyn,Wluka Anita E,Wang Yuanyuan,Antony Benny,Blizzard Leigh,Winzenberg Tania,Cicuttini Flavia,Jones Graeme JAMA Importance:A proof-of-principle study suggested that intravenous zoledronic acid may reduce knee pain and the size of bone marrow lesions in people with knee osteoarthritis, but data from large trials are lacking. Objective:To determine the effects of intravenous zoledronic acid on knee cartilage volume loss in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and bone marrow lesions. Design, Setting, and Participants:A 24-month multicenter, double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial conducted at 4 sites in Australia (1 research center and 3 hospitals). Adults aged 50 years or older with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and subchondral bone marrow lesions detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled from November 2013 through September 2015. The final date of follow-up was October 9, 2017. Interventions:Intravenous infusion with either 5 mg of zoledronic acid in a 100-mL saline solution (n = 113) or a placebo saline solution (n = 110) at baseline and 12 months. Main Outcomes and Measures:The primary outcome was absolute change in tibiofemoral cartilage volume assessed using MRI over 24 months (the minimum clinically important difference [MCID] has not been established). Three prespecified secondary outcomes were change in knee pain assessed by a visual analog scale (0 [no pain] to 100 [unbearable pain]; MCID, 15) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (0 [no pain] to 500 [unbearable pain]; MCID, 75) over 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months and change in bone marrow lesion size over 6 and 24 months (the MCID has not been established). Results:Of 223 participants enrolled (mean age, 62.0 years [SD, 8.0 years]; 52% were female), 190 (85%) completed the trial. Change in tibiofemoral cartilage volume was not significantly different between the zoledronic acid group and the placebo group over 24 months (-878 mm3 vs -919 mm3; between-group difference, 41 mm3 [95% CI, -79 to 161 mm3]; P = .50). No significant between-group differences were found for any of the prespecified secondary outcomes, including changes in knee pain assessed by a visual analog scale (-11.5 in the zoledronic acid group vs -16.8 in the placebo group; between-group difference, 5.2 [95% CI, -2.3 to 12.8]; P = .17), changes in knee pain assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (-37.5 vs -58.0, respectively; between-group difference, 20.5 [95% CI, -11.2 to 52.2]; P = .21), and changes in bone marrow lesion size (-33 mm2 vs -6 mm2; between-group difference, -27 mm2 [95% CI, -127 to 73 mm2]; P = .60) over 24 months. Adverse events were more common with zoledronic acid than with placebo (96% vs 83%, respectively) and consisted mainly of acute reactions (defined as symptoms within 3 days of administration of infusion; 87% vs 56%). Conclusions and Relevance:Among patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and bone marrow lesions, yearly zoledronic acid infusions, compared with placebo, did not significantly reduce cartilage volume loss over 24 months. These findings do not support the use of zoledronic acid in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Trial Registration:anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12613000039785. 10.1001/jama.2020.2938