Background Longitudinal studies have shown no associations between increased amount of radiographic hand osteoarthritis (OA) and more hand pain.
Objectives We therefore aimed to study whether radiographic hand OA was related to joint tenderness in cross-sectional and longitudinal settings with focus on joint-specific analyses.
Methods We included 200 patients (182 women, mean (SD) age 61.5 (5.8) years) from the Oslo hand OA cohort, of which 102 had 7-years follow-up data. The bilateral distal and proximal interphalangeal and carpometacarpal joints were scored for radiographic OA according to the Kellgren-Lawrence scale and OARSI atlas for assessment of individual features (osteophytes and joint space narrowing (JSN) grade 0-3, and absence/presence of erosions, cysts, sclerosis and malaligment). The same joints were clinically examined for tenderness on palpation. The associations between radiographic hand OA and tenderness in the same joint were examined by uni-/multivariate logistic regression analyses with Generalized Estimating Equations. In the longitudinal analyses we included joints with potential for radiographic progression and without tenderness at baseline. Features that were associated with joint tenderness in univariate analyses (p<0.20) were included in a multivariate model and excluded by backward selection. Analyses were adjusted for age and sex.
Results Increasing severity of radiographic OA was associated with higher odds of tenderness, and joints that progressed into severe radiographic OA had the highest odds of developing tenderness during follow-up (table). Progression of osteophytes and JSN were associated with incident tenderness, but incident erosions seemed to the most important predictor for incident tenderness. Sclerosis and cysts were not associated with tenderness in the multivariate models, and malalignment remained in the multivariate model for cross-sectional data only (table).
Conclusions Radiographic hand OA is associated with tenderness in the same joint, and erosive development can strongly predict future joint tenderness.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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