gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

The impact of chemical synovectomy with sodium morrhuate on human chondrocytes

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author S. Winkler - Orthopädische Klinik der Universität Regensburg, Bad Abbach
  • O. Wiech - Regensburg
  • R. Hofbauer - Regensburg
  • S. Grässel - Regensburg
  • N. Ahmed - Regensburg
  • M. Handel - Regensburg
  • H. Schlitt - Regensburg
  • J. Grifka - Regensburg
  • J. Schaumburger - Regensburg

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novP27

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 Winkler et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The vessel sclerosing property of sodium morrhuate is useful in treatment of recurrent extremity joint effusions particularly in cases of knee joint effusions. It also can be employed as an addition to surgical synovectomy. Little is known about the influence of this drug on cartilage. This study is designed to investigate the in vitro cytotoxic impact of sodium morrhuate on human chondrocytes.


Chondrocytes from 13 patients were isolated and cultivated in three dimensional alginate cultures. The cultured cells were incubated for 48 hours with 5 % sodium morrhuate and 1 % mepivacaine (3:2) in different dilutions of the drug (1:1000, 1:800, 1:600, 1:500, 1:400, 1:300, 1:200). The incubation period was kept same as clinical procedures. After 48 hours, proliferation (BrdU), viability (WST), and cytotoxicity (LDH) of cells were photometrically measured.


Up to the dilution of 1:600 cells were found to be 100% viable and had a proliferation rate of 74% compared with controls. At 1:500 the proliferation went down to 28%. From 1:400 onwards a significant increase in LDH release was measured which reached at dilution 1:200 74% of high control.


The results of this in vitro study demonstrate that the cytotoxic effects of sodium morrhuate on human chondrocytes manifest between dilutions 1:500 and 1:400. Higher concentrations of the drug are found to be apparently more cytotoxic. Currently, in vivo transfer potential of this research is being determined.