While Heberden’s nodes (HNs) are already considered hallmarks of osteoarthritis, new research suggests they may also indicate progression of structural damage associated with knee osteoarthritis.
The study included 395 patients with HNs and 188 without who underwent clinical examination with evaluation of HNs at baseline and knee MRI at baseline and 24 months.
The authors found there were significant associations between the presence of HN and longitudinal MRI measures of knee osteoarthritis.
In the HN group, more periarticular bone area expansion was seen in knee joint over 24 months (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.39; 95% CI 1.06-1.83), especially in medial femur (aOR 1.49; 95% CI 1.05-2.13) and lateral femur (aOR 2.51; 95% CI 1.58-3.97), femoral notch (aOR 1.37; 95% CI 1.02-1.84) and lateral trochlea (aOR 1.44; 95% CI 1.08-1.9).
However, there was a trend of less osteophyte worsening in the whole knee joint, particularly in the femur region, in individuals with HNs compared to those without.
Presenting the findings in Arthritis & Rheumatology, the authors said additional studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the link between HN and knee osteoarthritis.