The presence of Heberden’s nodes–bony enlargements of the finger joints–may indicate structural damage associated with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published recently in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

In the study of 395 patients with HN and 188 without, there were significant associations between the presence of HN and imaging measures of knee osteoarthritis.

The authors note that additional studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms behind the link between HN and knee osteoarthritis, per a media release from Wiley.

“The presence of Heberden’s nodes in a physical examination is associated with a distinct pattern of worsening of osteoarthritis-related structural damage in the knee joint,” says the study’s leading author, Dr Arya Haj-Mirzaian, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in the release.

“These exploratory results have motivated us to initiate more focused investigations to further characterize the nodal osteoarthritis phenotype and tailor specific treatments for patients in future trials,” adds senior author Dr Shadpour Demehri.

[Source(s): Wiley, EurekAlert]