University Of Tasmania
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Quantification of hip effusion-synovitis and its cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with hip pain, MRI findings and early radiographic hip OA

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posted on 2023-05-20, 17:05 authored by Harbeer AhediHarbeer Ahedi, Dawn AitkenDawn Aitken, Christopher BlizzardChristopher Blizzard, Cicuttini, F, Graeme JonesGraeme Jones
Background: Hip effusion-synovitis may be relevant to osteoarthritis (OA) but is of uncertain etiology. The aim of this study was to describe the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of hip effusion-synovitis with clinical and structural risk factors of OA in older adults.

Methods: One hundred ninety-six subjects from the Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort (TASOAC) study with a right hip STIR (Short T1 Inversion Recovery) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on two occasions were included. Hip effusion-synovitis CSA (cm2) was assessed quantitatively. Hip pain was determined by WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis) while hip bone marrow lesions (BMLs), cartilage defects (femoral and/or acetabular) and high cartilage signal were assessed on MRI. Joint space narrowing (0-3) and osteophytes (0-3) were measured on x-ray using Altman's atlas.

Results: Of 196 subjects, 32% (n = 63) had no or a small hip effusion-synovitis while 68% (n = 133) subjects had a moderate or large hip effusion-synovitis. Both groups were similar but those with moderate or large hip effusion-synovitis were older, had higher BMI and more hip pain. Cross-sectionally, hip effusion-synovitis at multiple sites was associated with presence of hip pain [Prevalence ratio (PR):1.42 95%CI:1.05,1.93], but not with severity of hip pain. Furthermore, hip effusion-synovitis size associated with femoral defect (βeta:0.32 95%CI:0.08,0.56). Longitudinally, and incident hip cartilage defect (PR: 2.23 95%CI:1.00, 4.97) were associated with an increase in hip effusion-synovitis CSA. Furthermore, independent of presence of effusion-synovitis, hip BMLs predicted incident (PR: 1.62 95%CI: 1.13, 2.34) and worsening of hip cartilage defects (PR: 1.50 95%CI: 1.20, 1.86). While hip cartilage defect predicted incident (PR: 1.11 95%CI: 1.03, 1.20) and worsening hip BMLs (PR: 1.16 95%CI: 1.04, 1.30).

Conclusions: Hip effusion-synovitis at multiple sites (presumably reflecting extent) may be associated with hip pain. Hip BMLs and hip cartilage defects are co-dependent and predict worsening hip effusion-synovitis, indicating causal pathways between defects, BMLs and effusion-synovitis.


Publication title

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders



Article number









Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Biomed Central Ltd

Place of publication

Middlesex House, 34-42 Cleveland St, London, England, W1T 4Lb

Rights statement

© The Author(s). 2020. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified