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Flashcards in Gout & crystal arthropathies Deck (33)
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A group of conditions characterised by hyperuricaemia and uric acid (monosodium urate) crystal formation. Clinically this can cause acute gout, Tophaceous Gout, uric acid nephrolithiasis & Gouty nephropathy


Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD) (3)

2nd commonest form of crystal arthropathy diagnosed by rhomboid calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals - weakly positively birefringent
Can cause pseudogout, destructive arthropathy or asymptomatic chondrocalcinosis


Basic calcium phosphate associated conditions (3,1,3)

hydroxyapatite, octacalcium phosphate or tricalcium crystal deposition
Include milwaukee shoulder (destructive arthropathy) , acute arthritis, acute calcific periarthritis and calcific tendonitis/bursitis


Calcium Oxalate arthritis

An unusual arthritis with bipyramidal crystals, treat with NSAIDs & colchicine as with CPPD -- can present acutely or subacutely
Associated with ESRD, short bowel syndrome and thiamine or pyridoxine deficiency


Epidemiology of Gout (4)

4:1 male to female ratio - men 45yrs, women 60yrs
approx 1% of people will suffer from some gout
Incidence increases with age


Clinical Features of Gout arthritis (3)

Intially asymptomatic, then acute, self-limiting (3-10days) inflammatory monoarthritis in a small joint
70-80% have a 2nd attack within 2 years. --
Attacks become polyarticular with shorter remissions (may mimic RA)


Treatment for Gout Arthritis

Acute: high dose NSAIDs w/or w/out colchicine
>1 attack/year: allopurinol. May trigger an attack


Tophaceous Gout (4)

Occurs when tophi of uric acid crystals are deposited within a matrix of lipid subcutaneously, or in organs.
Mainly occur in long term, severe hyperuriaemia
Presents with large, whitish/chalky subcut nodules
Commonest on extensor surfaces or trauma sites


Gout associated kidney damage (3)

Urate nephropathy - minor damage due to inflammation directly due to urate crystals
Uric acid nephropathy - occurs in ill, dehydrated pts, often taking cytotoxic drugs
Acute obstructive uropathy due to uric acid stones can also occur


General risk Factors for Gout (8)

General--> male, >40yo, obese, FH, HTN, alcohol/purine rich food, kidney disease, hyperlipidaemia


Investigation for Gout -- Synovial fluid

most useful and will show needle shaped crystals (negatively birefringent) - yellow when parallel, blue when perpendicular


Treatment of Hyperuricaemia - decrease production (2,4)

Allopurinol --> a xanthine oxidase inhibitor,
Risk of fatal hypersensitivity reaction (particularly if second exposure or interaction with azathioprine) and can trigger acute attacks
Use if: frequent, erosive disease, nephropathy, tophi


Other conditions which can include Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (4,3,4)

Low Mg or phosphate, haemochromatosis, wilson's disease, hyperparathyroidism, haemosiderosis, hypothyroidism, Gout, amyloidosis, trauma, familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHC)


How common is uric acid nephropathy/nephrolithasis?

10-25% of gout sufferers



A blood urate level above 7mg/dl in men and 6mg/dl in women


Causes of urate overproduction (5)

Cell lysis (necrosis, haemolysis, tumours)
Drugs (cytotoxics, warfarin),
type I glycogen storage disease or Psoriasis
Dietary purines or Alcohol
Lympho- or myelo-proliferation


Causes of urate under-secretion (5)

Drugs (alcohol, diuretics, laxatives)
Lead toxicity & inherited conditions
Lactic, respiratory or keto-acidosis
Renal failure


Drugs which can cause gout (AACDEN)

Thiazides or Frusemide Alcohol
Low dose aspirin Ethambutol
Cyclosporin Nicotinic acid


Alcohol and gout

Commonest cause -- increases ATP turnover (increased urate production)
Lactic acidosis (under secretion)
Beer has lots of purines


What causes an acute attack?

A sudden change in serum urate -- either sudden formation or shedding from synovial membrane
Urate is normal in 20% if cases during an attack


Treatment of Hyperuricaemia - increase secretion

Sulphinpyrazone, benzbromarone & Probenicid - uricosuric agents but sulphinpyrazone is contraindicated in renal insufficiency
Aim to keep serum urate <6mg/dl



Gout of the big toe -- most common (50% of first attacks and 90% will have it effected at some point)


Investigation for Gout -- Serum uric acid

May be normal during an acute attack but are useful to monitor hyperuricaemia (not universal)


Investigation for Gout -- Radiographs (6)

Only be useful to exclude other causes in early disease but later may show tophi, swelling, Periarticular joint erosions and new periosteal bone
'Punched out lesions' without sclerosis or osteoporosis


Stages of Gout

Asymptomatic hyperuricaemia
Acute gout (85% monoarthritis, 15% polyarthritis)
Intercritical gout
Chronic trophaceous gout


Features of Acute gout

Mimics septic arthritis -- warm, red and tender/painful
Can affect bursas as well
Resolves in 3-10days


Chronic trophaceous gout (4)

Urate crystal deposits surrounded by macrophages
Commonly - ears, olecranon, achillies, periarticular
High incidence of renal impairment
Develop 10yrs after first attack


Allopurinol (5)

a xanthine oxidase inhibitor - Risk of fatal hypersensitivity reaction - particularly if second exposure or interaction with azathioprine
Can trigger acute attacks
Careful to use in elderly with poor kidney function
Always give NSAIDs as well to begin with



Due to CPPD
large joint monoarthritis with endocrine/electrolyte disturbances
Responds to same treatment a gout but underlying cause should be investigated


Risk factors for Pseudogout

Hyperparathyroidism or hypothryoidism
Haemochromatosis or wilson's disease
Low magnesium or phosphate