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

Coen van der Meulen, Lotte A. van de Stadt, F. line P. B. Kroon, Marion C. Kortekaas, Annelies E. R. C. H. Boonen, Stefan Böhringer, Marieke Niesters, Monique Reijnierse, Frits R. Rosendaal, Naghmeh Riyazi, Mirian Starmans-Kool, Franktien Turkstra, Jendé van Zeben, Cornelia F. Allaart, Margreet Kloppenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Pain is common in hand osteoarthritis (OA) 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 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% were unlikely to have neuropathic-like pain, 31% were indeterminate and 16% were likely to have 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 OA patients had neuropathic-like pain. They were more often female, had more comorbidities and had lower QoL than those without. Neuropathic-like pain symptoms remained despite prednisolone treatment and did not seem to affect the outcome of prednisolone treatment. Significance: Pain is the dominant symptom in hand OA, with an unclear aetiology. In this study, we found that neuropathic-like pain may play a role in hand OA, that it showed associations with female sex, younger age and more comorbidities and that it lowered health-related quality of life in hand OA. Neuropathic-like pain in hand OA seems resistant to prednisolone therapy but did not seem to interfere with the treatment of inflammatory pain with prednisolone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain (United Kingdom)
Issue number8
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Cite this