Double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the pain-relieving effects of the implantation of gold beads in dogs with hip dysplasia

Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.
The Veterinary record (Impact Factor: 1.49). 06/2006; 158(21):722-6. DOI: 10.1136/vr.158.21.722
Source: PubMed


Seventy-eight dogs with pain due to hip dysplasia were studied in a controlled, double-blind clinical trial to evaluate gold bead implantation as a pain-relieving treatment. The dogs were randomly assigned to two groups, 36 in the gold implantation group and 42 in the placebo group. Both groups were treated equally regarding anaesthesia, hair clipping and penetration of the skin with the same type of needle. The gold implantation group had small pieces of 24 carat gold inserted through needles at five different acupuncture points and the placebo group had the skin penetrated at five non-acupuncture points so as to avoid any possible effect of stimulating the acupuncture points. A certified veterinary acupuncturist marked the points, and two surgeons performed the implantations according to a randomisation code made in advance. After 14 days, three months and six months, the owners assessed the overall effect of the treatments by answering a questionnaire, and the same veterinarian examined each dog and evaluated its degree of lameness by examining videotaped footage of it walking and trotting. The treatment was blinded for both the owners and the veterinarian. There were significantly greater improvements in mobility and greater reductions in the signs of pain in the dogs treated with gold implantation than in the placebo group. The veterinarian's and the owners' assessments corresponded well.

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Available from: Stig Larsen, Dec 17, 2013
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    • "However, gold ions, dissolucytotically released from metallic gold implants, have been shown to be anti-inflammatory [18,23-26]. Together with recent findings of decreased articular pain and inflammation in veterinary use [6,8], it is of interest to analyse the mode of action of metallic gold which can be applied to specific points of inflammation without systemic effects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gold salts has previously been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but have been replaced by biologicals such as TNF-α inhibitors. The mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory effect of metallic gold ions are still unknown, however, recent data showed that charged gold atoms are released from pure metallic gold implants by macrophages via a dissolucytosis membrane, and that gold ions are taken up by local macrophages, mast cells and to some extent fibroblasts. These findings open the question of possible immunomodulatory effects of metallic gold and motivate efforts on a deeper understanding of the effect of metallic gold on key inflammatory cells as macrophages. Human macrophage cells (cell line THP-1) were grown on gold foils and intracellular uptake was analysed by autometallography. The impact of phagocytised gold ions on viability of THP-1 cells was investigated by trypan blue staining and TUNEL assay. The global gene expression profile of THP-1 cells after incorporation of gold ions was studied using microarray analysis comprising approximately 20,000 genes. The gene expression data was confirmed by measurement of secreted proteins. Autometallography showed intracellular uptake of gold ions into THP-1 cells. No significant effect on viability of THP-1 cells was demonstrated. Our data revealed a unique gene expression signature of dissolucytotic THP-1 cells that had taken up gold ions. A large number of regulated genes were functionally related to immunomodulation. Gold ion uptake induced downregulation of genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis such as hepatocyte growth factor, tenascin-C, inhibitor of DNA binding 1 and 3 and matrix metalloproteinase 13. The data obtained in this study offer new insights into the mode of action of gold ions and suggest for the investigation of effects on other key cells and a possible future role of metallic gold as implants in rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
    Journal of Inflammation 11/2012; 9(1):43. DOI:10.1186/1476-9255-9-43 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "The same pain-relieving effect that was revealed in the blind six-month study [9] continued in the open study of gold implantation, as assessed by both the owners and the clinical investigator. The result is very promising, but not unexpected on the basis of the results from the six-month blinded study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Seventy-eight dogs with pain from hip dysplasia participated in a six-month placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial of gold bead implantation. In the present, non-blinded study, 73 of these dogs were followed for an additional 18 months to evaluate the long-term pain-relieving effect of gold bead implantation. The recently-published results of the six month period revealed that 30 of the 36 dogs (83%) in the gold implantation group showed significant improvement (p = 0.02), included improved mobility and reduction in the signs of pain, compared to the placebo group (60% improvement). In the long-term two-year follow-up study, 66 of the 73 dogs had gold implantation and seven dogs continued as a control group. The 32 dogs in the original placebo group had gold beads implanted and were followed for a further 18 months. A certified veterinary acupuncturist used the same procedure to insert the gold beads as in the blinded study, and the owners completed the same type of detailed questionnaires. As in the blinded study, one investigator was responsible for all the assessments of each dog. The present study revealed that the pain-relieving effect of gold bead implantation observed in the blinded study continued throughout the two-year follow-up period.
    Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 02/2007; 49(1):9. DOI:10.1186/1751-0147-49-9 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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