Effects of intra‑articular pulsed radiofrequency current administration on a rabbit model of rheumatoid arthritis
- Hee Kyung Cho
- Gi-Young Park
- Woo Jung Sung
- Sang Gyu Kawk
- Won Bin Jung
Affiliations: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu 42472, Republic of Korea, Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu 42472, Republic of Korea, Department of Medical Statistics, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu 42472, Republic of Korea, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Seongju Moo Gang Hospital, Seongju 40026, Republic of Korea
- Published online on: August 31, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9157
Copyright: © Cho
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by synovial proliferation and inflammation. Intra‑articular corticosteroid injections are commonly used for the treatment of arthritis affecting one or two joints. Although corticosteroid injections are fast‑acting, repeated usage can result in severe adverse events. Recently, intra‑articular pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) stimulation has been proposed to treat arthritis. The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of intra‑articular PRF with corticosteroid injection based on histopathological and motion analysis of an ovalbumin (OVA)‑induced RA rabbit model. RA was induced in the right knee joint of 18 rabbits via OVA injection. The rabbits were randomly allocated into a PRF, an intra‑articular corticosteroid injection or a sham PRF stimulation group. Movement was assessed in the rabbits before treatment, then at 2, 4 and 8 weeks after treatment using walking distance, fast walking time and mean walking speed. Histopathological evaluation of the distal femur and synovium was conducted 2, 4 and 8 weeks after treatment. Motion analysis demonstrated that changes in all movement variables showed significant group and time interaction as well as group effect among the three groups. The semiquantitative score based on the histopathological findings for the distal femoral condyle decreased 2 and 4 weeks after both the PRF and steroid groups, compared with the sham PRF group. Moreover, in the synovium, the semiquantitative histological score in the PRF and steroid groups tended to be lower compared with the sham PRF group, although this result was not statistically significant. Thus, intra‑articular PRF stimulation may delay cartilage destruction and improve functional motion in RA.