Molecular Weight of Hyaluronic Acid Has Major Influence on Its Efficacy and Safety for Viscosupplementation in Hip Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background This study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of intra-articular hyaluronic acid (HA) injection with different molecular weights (MWs) for treating hip osteoarthritis (OA). Methods A systematic literature search for relevant studies was conducted in 3 electronic databases, including PubMed, BMJ Journals, and Cochrane Library, from inception to April 2020. Extracted outcomes included visual analogue scale (VAS) (1, 3, and 6 months), Lequesne index (3 and 6 months), and adverse effects. HAs were classified into low-molecular-weight (LMW), moderate-molecular-weight (MMW), high-molecular-weight (HMW), and ultra-high-molecular-weight (UHMW) groups. Meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.3. Results A total of 15 studies with 614 patients were included. Our meta-analysis showed that the HMW HA group had the best improvement in VAS and Lequesne index compared with other HA groups for all the follow-up visits. Moreover, the HMW group demonstrated significantly better improvement than the other groups in VAS at 6-month follow-up and in Lequesne index at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Analysis for adverse effects revealed low rates of systemic adverse effects (≤0.6%) in all groups and similar rate of local adverse effects (around 10%) among the groups except for UHMW HA group (37.5%). Conclusion Among different MWs of HA for treating hip OA, HMW HA injection demonstrated the best efficacy for up to 6 months after treatment without increased risk of adverse effects. Further studies with more comprehensive data and a higher level of evidence are required to prove our results.