Elimination of stabilised hyaluronan from the knee joint in healthy men

U. Lindqvist, V. Tolmachev, K. Kairemo, G. Åström, E. Jonsson, H. Lundqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the elimination of stabilised hyaluronan following intra-articular injection into the knee joint. Design: This was a single-centre, single-dose study in healthy human volunteers. Participants: Six healthy men, aged 28 to 47 (mean 38) years, were enrolled in the study. Methods: Subjects received a single intra-articular injection (3ml; 20 mg/ml) of 131I-labelled non-animal stabilised hyaluronic acid (NASHA). Radioactivity in the knee, blood, urine and over the liver was measured with gamma counters for 3 weeks post-injection; magnetic resonance and gamma camera imaging of the knee were also performed at 24 hours post-injection. Radioactivity uptake data were tested for conformity of fit to different mathematical models. Results: Elimination of 131I-labelled NASHA from the knee was characterised by a fast initial phase and a slow late phase, and conformed to a three-exponential-function model with elimination half-lives of 1.5 hours, 1.5 days and 4 weeks. Radioactivity distribution within the knee joint was homogenous, and no local leakage was observed. Hepatic radioactivity uptake was low, but significantly above background levels, for the first 2 days post-injection, before declining to background levels. Visual imaging indicated an increase in intra-articular fluid volume at 24 hours post-injection. Conclusions: The elimination kinetics of 131I-labelled NASHA from the human knee joint were described by three distinct phases, with half-times of 1.5 hours, 1.5 days and 4 weeks. Most likely, the last value reflects the true half-life of NASHA following intra-articular injection since the labelling method used causes minimal modification of hyaluronan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-613
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Pharmacokinetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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