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Intra-articular botulinum toxin A for base-of-thumb osteoarthritis: protocol for a randomised trial (RHIBOT)

30 Jun 2018


Recent studies have suggested that intra-articular injection of botulinum toxin A (BTA) may have analgesic effects in degenerative joint diseases. We aim to assess the efficacy of intra-articular injection of BTA associated with splinting in patients with trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis (TMC OA).

Methods and analysis

We will conduct a randomised double-blind controlled trial. Overall, 60 individuals with TMC OA fulfilling adapted 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for hand OA will be recruited in one tertiary care centre in France and randomised to receive splinting + a single ultrasound-guided injection in the TMC joint of 50 Allergan Units of BTA resuspended in 1 mL saline or splinting +1 mL saline. Randomisation will be centralised. The allocation ratio will be 1:1. The primary outcome will be the mean change from baseline in base-of-thumb pain on a self-administered 11-point Numeric Rating Scale in 10-point increments at 3 months after injection. Secondary outcomes will be the mean change in base-of-thumb pain at 1 and 6 months, mean change in hand-specific activity limitations assessed by the self-administered Cochin Hand Function Scale, proportion of responders assessed by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International -Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) criteria and consumption of analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs assessed by a self-administered 4-class scale at 3 and 6 months. Cointerventions will be allowed in both groups and will be self-reported. Adverse events will be recorded at 3 and 6 months. Participants, care providers and statisticians will be blinded to the allocated treatment.

Ethics and dissemination

The RHIBOT trial has been authorised by the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament and approved by the Comité de Protection des Personnes de Tours Ouest-1. The findings of the study will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. If the results are positive, intra-articular BTA could be an efficient and safe complementary therapeutic option for patients with TMC OA.

Date and version identifier of the protocol

8 January 2018, V. 2.0.

Trial registration number

NCT03187626; Pre-results.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open