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Evaluation of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan or sodium hyaluronan administered intra-articularly for treatment of horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis

David D. Frisbie DVM, PhD1, Chris E. Kawcak DVM, PhD2, C. Wayne McIlwraith BVSc, PhD3, and Natasha M. Werpy DVM4
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  • 1 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1678.
  • | 2 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1678.
  • | 3 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1678.
  • | 4 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1678.

Abstract

Objective—To assess clinical, biochemical, and histologic effects of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) or sodium hyaluronan administered intra-articularly in treatment of horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis.

Animals—24 horses.

Procedures—Osteoarthritis was induced arthroscopically in 1 middle carpal joint of all horses. Eight horses received hyaluronan (20 mg) and amikacin (125 mg) intra-articularly on study days 14, 21, and 28. Eight horses received PSGAG (250 mg) and amikacin (125 mg) intra-articularly on study days 14, 21, and 28. Eight control horses received 2 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution and amikacin (125 mg) intra-articularly on study days 14, 21, and 28. Clinical, radiographic, synovial fluid analysis, gross, histologic, histochemical, and biochemical findings were evaluated.

Results—No adverse treatment-related events were detected. Induced osteoarthritis caused a substantial change in lameness, response to flexion, joint effusion, and radiographic findings, and of these, synovial fluid effusion was reduced with PSGAG, compared with control horses. No changes in clinical signs were seen with PSGAG or hyaluronan, compared with control horses. Histologically, the degree of synovial membrane vascularity and subintimal fibrosis was significantly reduced with PSGAG treatment, compared with controls. Histologically, significantly less fibrillation was seen with hyaluronan treatment, compared with controls.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that PSGAG and hyaluronan had beneficial disease-modifying effects and are viable therapeutic options for osteoarthritis in horses.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Luitpold Pharmacies Incorporated.

Address correspondence to Dr. Frisbie.