Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article written by Nicola A. Pascarelli PhD, Sara Cheleschi PhD, Giovanni Bacaro PhD, Giacomo M. Guidelli MD, Mauro Galeazzi MD and Antonella Fioravanti MD PhD
IMAJ 2016: 18: March-April: 232-237
Background: Balneotherapy is one of the most commonly used non-pharmacological approaches for osteoarthritis (OA). Recent data indicate that some biomarkers could be useful to predict OA progression and to assess therapeutic response.
Objectives: To evaluate the effects of mud-bath therapy on serum biomarkers in patients with knee OA.
Methods: The study group comprised 103 patients with primary symptomatic bilateral knee OA who were randomly assigned to receive a cycle of mud-bath therapy over a period of 2 weeks or to continue their standard therapy alone. Clinical and biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline and after 2 weeks. Clinical assessments included global pain score on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index (WOMAC) subscores for knee OA. Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide type II collagen (CTX-II), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) serum levels were assessed by ELISA.
Results: At the end of mud-bath therapy we observed a statistically significant improvement in VAS and WOMAC subscores. Serum levels of COMP, MPO and hsCRP did not show any significant modification in both groups, while a significant increase (P < 0.001) in CTX-II serum levels was observed in the mud-bath group after the treatment.
Conclusions: A cycle of mud-bath therapy added to usual treatment had a beneficial effect on pain and function in patients with knee OA. The evaluation of serum biomarkers showed only a significant increase of CTX-II, perhaps due to an increase of cartilage turnover induced by thermal stress.