We have compared three intra-articular steroid preparations in a double blind study on 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and bilateral synovitis of the knees. One knee was injected with 1.0 ml of either prednisolone t-butyl acetate, methyl prednisolone acetate, or triamcinolone hexacetonide, and the patients were followed up for 6 weeks with regular clinical and thermographic assessments. Thermographic improvement was seen with all 3 drugs but was greatest initially and longest lasting with triamcinolone. No significant systemic improvement was seen with any drug after a single injection, though all 3 steroid preparations suppressed endogenous cortisol.
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