Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology conditionally recommend the use of intra-articular corticosteroid injections for treatment of knee osteoarthritis. 51 The duration of pain relief is one to two weeks in most trials, with a few showing improvements lasting three to four weeks. 60 – 63 Research uniformly supports the safety of intra-articular corticosteroid injections for treatment of knee osteoarthritis; however, these studies are limited by lack of histologic data and poor long-term follow-up. 64 A Cochrane review found weak evidence for the use of corticosteroid injections for the treatment of knee rheumatoid arthritis. 52
AB - BACKGROUND. Due to the known high recurrence rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) recipients who receive tacrolimus+corticosteroid maintenance, use of steroid-free induction was considered. METHODS. OLT recipients with HCV were randomized to receive tacrolimus+daclizumab (steroid-free) vs. tacrolimus+corticosteroids during 1999-2001 and then tacrolimus+mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)+daclizumab (steroid-free) vs. tacrolimus+MMF+corticosteroids during 2002-2005. Patients in the steroid-free arm of both periods received no steroids except for treating biopsy-proven rejection. Primary objective was to compare mean fibrosis stage at the 1-year protocol biopsy, between the steroid-free and corticosteroid arms, stratifying by period. RESULTS. No noticeable differences in mean fibrosis stage between the two treatment arms, either averaging across periods (P=) or during either period (P>) were found. Occurrence of acute rejection during the first year was the only factor associated with a significantly increased fibrosis stage at 1 year (P=); stage ≥2 was seen in 63% (17 of 27) vs. 19% (8 of 43) of those with vs. without rejection. In addition, MMF use was associated with significantly fewer patients experiencing acute rejection during the first 6 and 12 months posttransplant (P= and ). Regarding steroid-related side effects, posttransplant diabetes mellitus occurred in 10% vs. 45%, and wound infection in 6% vs. 31% of steroid-free vs. corticosteroid patients (P= and ). CONCLUSIONS. OLT recipients with HCV tolerated the steroid-free protocol with fewer side effects; however, its use had no apparent impact on hepatic fibrosis progression. Occurrence of acute rejection was strongly associated with increased hepatic fibrosis at 1 year, and MMF use appears to have significantly reduced the rejection rate.
Corticosteroids are the accepted primary therapy for acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but durable responses are seen in only about half of the patients. Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) 0802, a phase 3 multicenter randomized double-blinded trial, was designed to test whether mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) plus corticosteroids was superior to corticosteroids alone as initial therapy for acute GVHD. Patients with newly diagnosed acute GVHD were eligible if they required systemic therapy. Patients were randomized to receive prednisone with either MMF or placebo. The primary end point was acute or chronic GVHD-free survival at day 56 after initiation of therapy. A futility rule for GVHD-free survival at day 56 was met at a planned interim analysis after 235 patients (of 372) were enrolled: 116 MMF, 119 placebo. Baseline characteristics were well balanced between treatment groups including grade and organ distribution of GVHD. GVHD-free survival at day 56, cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD at 12 months, overall survival, Epstein-Barr virus reactivation, severe, life-threatening infections, relapse at 12 months, and quality of life were similar. The addition of MMF to corticosteroids as initial therapy for acute GVHD does not improve GVHD-free survival compared with corticosteroids alone. This trial was registered at as # NCT01002742 .