We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to


Synovium front cover

Issue 33 (Summer 2011)

Download this issue (opens in new window)(303.8 KB)


We have previously praised the newsletter from ‘NHS Evidence – musculoskeletal’. Sadly the February 2011 e-news alert was the last! It did however yield a bumper crop of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This vast source of evidence is still available at but it requires searching now rather than having the ‘really useful stuff’ selected for your convenience. The good news is that Synovium will continue to trawl these rich reserves for you.

We have discovered the latest high-powered tool in the search for best evidence – the Network Meta-analysis, which synthesises data from compatible studies and allows the effects of one treatment in one study to be compared with another treatment in a separate study, providing the study populations are sufficiently similar. How clever is that? We cannot possibly rise to the challenge of explaining the methodology, however, and we are aware that the method does have some critics. So a note of caution when the interesting findings are taken on board.

Adrian Dunbar, Medical Editor

Early and aggressive treatment in RA

Some Synovium readers may remember the days when first-line treatment, once the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was established, was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), with more powerful disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) being saved for later....

Find out more

Mortality in osteoarthritis

Although the excess mortality associated with rheumatoid arthritis – mainly as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD) – is well known, osteoarthritis (OA) has not been thought to be associated with increased mortality.

Find out more

Adverse effects of medications for arthritis

The effectiveness of biological agents, e.g. tumour necrosis factor antagonists, for treating inflammatory arthritis is well established. However, the risk of adverse effects has not been well defined.

Find out more

Imaging in osteoarthritis

It is well known that changes on plain x-rays of joints with osteoarthritis (OA) correlate poorly with symptoms and are accordingly of relatively little use in the clinical assessment of patients with knee or hip pain and therefore in planning treatments....

Find out more

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.