To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intraarticular infliximab compared with intraarticular methylprednisolone in patients with gonarthritis.


In 23 patients with recurrent gonarthritis despite previous intraarticular corticosteroid therapy, a total of 41 intraarticular injections (20 infliximab and 21 methylprednisolone) were performed in 28 knees. Initial therapy was randomly assigned, and crossover therapy was eligible within 3 months. The clinical effect was assessed during 6 months of followup. The primary outcome was event-free survival, defined as the time after treatment until local retreatment was performed and/or nonimprovement of the knee joint score. Adverse effects were recorded during followup.


All patients treated with intraarticular infliximab had an insufficient response. In contrast, 8 of the 21 intraarticular methylprednisolone injections were effective (P = 0.004). Between groups, no differences in the patients' age, disease duration, number of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or previous intraarticular methylprednisolone were observed. Reported adverse effects were not related to therapy.


Treatment with intraarticular infliximab injection was not effective in patients with a chronically inflamed knee joint. Intraarticular injection with methylprednisolone was superior despite previous intraarticular corticosteroid therapy. Further investigation is needed to provide these patients with a better alternative.