Intratendinous injection of hyaluronate induces acute inflammation: A possible detrimental effect

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Hyaluronate (HA) is therapeutic for tendinopathy, but an intratendinous HA injection is usually painful; thus, it is not suggested for clinical practice. However, there are no studies on the histopathological changes after an intratendinous HA injection. We hypothesized that an HA injection would induce more-acute inflammation than that induced by an injection of phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Thirty-two rats were randomly divided into 4 post-injection groups (n = 8): day 3, day 7, day 28, and day 42. HA (0.1 c.c.) was, using ultrasound guidance, intratendinously injected into each left Achilles tendon, and PBS (0.1 c.c.) into each right one. For each group, both Achilles tendons of 3 control-group rats (n = 6) were given only needle punctures. The histopathological score, ED1+ and ED2+ macrophage densities, interleukin (IL)-1β expression, and the extent of neovascularization were evaluated. In both experimental groups, each Achilles tendon showed significant histopathological changes and inflammation compatible with acute tendon injury until day 42. The HA group showed more-significant (p < 0.05) histopathological changes, higher ED1+ and ED2+ macrophage density, and higher IL-1β expression than did the PBS group. The neovascularization area was also significantly (p < 0.05) greater in the HA group, except on day 3. Both HA and PBS induced acute tendon injury and inflammation, sequential histopathological changes, ED1+ and ED2+ macrophage accumulation, IL-1β expression, and neovascularization until post-injection day 42.HA induced more-severe injury than did PBS. Therefore, an intratendinous HA injection should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0155424
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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