Neuropathic-like pain symptoms in inflammatory hand osteoarthritis lower quality of life and may not decrease under prednisolone treatment

C van der Meulen*, L A van de Stadt, F P B Kroon, M C Kortekaas, A E R C H Boonen, S Böhringer, M Niesters, M Reijnierse, F R Rosendaal, N Riyazi, M Starmans-Kool, F Turkstra, J van Zeben, C F Allaart, M Kloppenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Pain is common in hand osteoarthritis and multiple types may occur. We investigated the prevalence, associated patient characteristics, influence on health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) and response to anti-inflammatory treatment of neuropathic-like pain in inflammatory hand osteoarthritis (OA)..

METHODS: Data were analysed from a 6-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating prednisolone treatment in 92 patients with painful inflammatory hand OA. Neuropathic-like pain was measured with the painDETECT questionnaire. Associations between baseline characteristics and baseline neuropathic-like pain were analysed with ordinal logistic regression, association of baseline neuropathic-like pain symptoms with baseline HR-QoL with linear regression, painDETECT and visual analogue scale (VAS) change from baseline to week 6, and interaction of painDETECT with prednisolone efficacy on VAS pain change from baseline to week 6 with generalized estimating equations (GEE).

RESULTS: Of 91 patients (79% female, mean age 64) with complete painDETECT data at baseline, 53% unlikely had neuropathic-like pain, 31% were indeterminate and 16% likely had neuropathic-like pain. Neuropathic-like pain was associated with female sex, less radiographic damage and more comorbidities. Patients with neuropathic-like pain had lower HR-QoL (PCS -6.5 (95%CI -10.4 to -2.6)) than those without. Neuropathic-like pain symptoms remained under prednisolone treatment and no interaction was seen between painDETECT and prednisolone efficacy on VAS pain.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, 16% of inflammatory hand osteoarthritis patients had neuropathic-like pain. They were more often female, had more comorbidities and lower QoL than those without. Neuropathic-like pain symptoms remained despite prednisolone treatment and did not seem to affect the outcome of prednisolone treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Issue number8
Early online date7 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022




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