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Synovium and capsule 

Synovium and capsule
Synovium and capsule

Floris P. J. G. Lafeber

, Nick J. Besselink

, and Simon C. Mastbergen

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date: 23 June 2021

Synovium is an integrated tissue of the diarthrodial joints that interacts with all the other joint tissues and specifically is important in nourishment and lubrication of the articular cartilage, removal of waste products, and immunological surveillance. Chronic as well as recurrent low-grade synovial inflammation definitely contributes to progression and symptoms of certain patients with osteoarthritis. Low-grade inflammation may even be causative in the disease. The challenge is that osteoarthritis is a heterogeneous disorder with inflammation not only of the synovial tissue but with its mediators also present in cartilage and bone. Therefore, despite the presence of inflammatory mediators, in some cases synovitis may be seen as a bystander and not as a driving force in pathogenesis. Future research must be directed toward defining the risk-to-benefit ratio for (systemic) anti-inflammatory therapy, especially when targeting mediators of low-grade inflammation.

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