Rheumatology International

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 733–735 | Cite as

Efficacy and safety of oral low-dose glucocorticoids in patients with estrogen-dependent primary osteoarthritis

  • Carlos A. Cañas
  • Carlos J. Osorio
  • Nicolás Coronel
  • Magda C. Cepeda
  • Jorge H. Izquierdo
  • Fabio Bonilla-Abadía
Short Communication


Estrogen-dependent osteoarthritis (EDPOA) is a disease of perimenopausal-age women. Their manifestations are polyarticular pain with common co-morbidities (carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and fibromyalgia). Based on dual role of glucocorticoids, its trophic action on the chondrocyte and its anti-inflammatory effect, we conducted a prospective interventional cohort study where we evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral low-dose GC in one hundred women with EDPOA. The pain intensity, number of tender joints as well as impact in co-morbidities were analyzed. We conclude that the use of low-dose GC in patients with EDPOA can be an effective and a safe therapeutic option.


Primary osteoarthritis Glucocorticoids Steroids Menopause 



We would like to thank the Fundación Valle del Lili to facilitate this work. We would also like to acknowledge Marisol Badiel M.D. for critical review of the article and his contributions to the statistical analysis.

Conflict of interest



  1. 1.
    Elders MJ (2000) The increasing impact of arthritis on public health. J Rheumatol Suppl 60:6–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brandt KD, Dieppe P, Radin EL (2008) Etiopathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Rheum Dis Clin N Am 34:531–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gore M, Tai KS, Sadosky A, Leslie D, Stacey BR (2011) Clinical comorbidities, treatment patterns, and direct medical costs of patients with osteoarthritis in usual care: a retrospective claims database analysis. J Med Econ 14:497–507PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bijlsma JWJ, Berenbaum F, Lafeber FPJG (2011) Osteoarthritis: an update with relevance for clinical practice. Lancet 377:2115–2126PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Herrero-Beaumont G, Roman-Blas JA, Castañeda S, Jimenez SA (2009) Primary osteoarthritis no longer primary: three subsets with distinct etiological, clinical, and therapeutic characteristics. Semin Arthritis Rheum 39:71–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Roman-Blas JA, Castañeda S, Largo R, Herrero-Beaumont G (2009) Osteoarthritis associated with estrogen deficiency. Arthritis Res Ther 11:241PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Madsen SH, Andreassen KV, Christensen ST, Karsdal MA, Sverdrup FM, Bay-Jensen AC, Henriksen K (2011) Glucocorticoids exert context-dependent effects on cells of the joint in vitro. Steroids 76(13):1474–1482PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Altman R, Alarcón G, Appelrouth D, Bloch D, Borenstein D et al (1990) The American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification and reporting of osteoarthritis of the hand. Arthritis Rheum 33:1601–1610PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Altman R, Asch E, Bloch D, Bole G, Borenstein D et al (1986) Development of criteria for the classification and reporting of osteoarthritis. Classification of osteoarthritis of the knee. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Criteria Committee of the American Rheumatism Association. Arthritis Rheum 29:1039–1049PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wolfe F, Smythe HA, Yunus MB, Bennett RM, Bombardier C et al (1990) The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteria for the classification of Fibromyalgia. Report of the Multicenter Criteria Committee. Arthritis Reum 33:160–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Richardson DW, Dodge GR (2003) Dose-dependent effects of corticosteroids on the expression of matrix-related genes in normal and cytokine-treated articular chondrocytes. Inflamm Res 52:39–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Derfoul A, Perkins GL, Hall DJ, Tuan RS (2006) Glucocorticoids promote chondrogenic differentiation of adult human mesenchymal stem cells by enhancing expression of cartilage extracellular matrix genes. Stem Cells 24:1487–1495PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cvoro A, Yuan C, Paruthiyil S, Miller OH, Yamamoto KR, Leitman DC (2011) Crosstalk between glucocorticoid and estrogen receptors occurs at a subset of proinflammatory genes. J Immunol 186:4354–4360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Evans CH, Grodzinsky AJ (2011) Effects of short-term glucocorticoid treatment on changes in cartilage matrix degradation and chondrocyte gene expression induced by mechanical injury and inflammatory cytokines. Arthritis Res Ther 13:R142PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Young L, Katrib A, Cuello C, Vollmer-Conna U, Bertouch JV et al (2001) Effects of intraarticular glucocorticoids on macrophage infiltration and mediators of joint damage in osteoarthritis synovial membranes: findings in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Arthritis Rheum 44:343–350PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos A. Cañas
    • 1
  • Carlos J. Osorio
    • 2
  • Nicolás Coronel
    • 3
  • Magda C. Cepeda
    • 4
  • Jorge H. Izquierdo
    • 1
  • Fabio Bonilla-Abadía
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology Unit, Fundación Valle del LiliICESI UniversityCaliColombia
  2. 2.Internal Medicine Department, Fundación Valle del LiliICESI UniversityCaliColombia
  3. 3.Internal Medicine Department, Fundación Valle del LiliCES UniversityCaliColombia
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigaciones ClínicasFundación Valle del LiliCaliColombia

Personalised recommendations