To compare the effects of tiludronate disodium and 3 other medical treatments on clinical and radiographic findings and biomarkers of disease progression in horses with osteoarthritis of the fetlock joint.
100 Standardbred racehorses with spontaneous traumatic injury of the fet-lock joint.
Horses were retrospectively grouped by whether they received tiludronate IV or triamcinolone acetonide and hyaluronan, polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, or interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein intra-articularly. Data were collected on clinical, radiographic, and ultrasonographic findings and results for serum and synovial samples obtained before and 6 months after treatment. Lameness score, joint flexion test response, radiographic score, serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α and carboxy-terminal telopeptides of collagen types I and II (CTX-I and II, respectively), and synovial fluid concentrations of interleukin-1β, prostaglandin E2, and CTX-II were compared among treatments.
All treatments resulted in a significant improvement in lameness score and joint flexion test response at 6 months. In horses that received triamcino-lone acetonide and hyaluronan, synovial fluid interleukin-1β, prostaglandin E2, and CTX-II concentrations decreased after treatment, suggesting this treatment inhibited progression of hyaline cartilage degeneration and inflammatory processes. Horses that received tiludronate were the only group that had a decrease in radiographic score and serum CTX-I concentration after treatment, supporting the effect of tiludronate on bone metabolism. Tiludronate treatment was also followed by increases in serum and synovial fluid concentrations of CTX-II, a marker of cartilage damage.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Tiludronate appeared to inhibit the radiographic progression of osteoarthritis in high-motion joints of racehorses at 6 months after treatment by inhibiting subchondral bone remodeling. Whether this effect was associated with a worsening of progressive cartilage damage remains to be ascertained.