Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Pseudogout

Definition

Pseudogout is a joint disease that can cause attacks of arthritis. Like gout, the condition involves the formation of crystals in the joints. But in pseudogout, the crystals are formed from a salt instead of uric acid.

Alternative Names

Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease; CPPD disease

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Pseudogout is caused by the collection of salt called calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD). The buildup of this salt forms crystals in the joints. This leads to attacks of joint swelling and pain in the knees, wrists, ankles, and other joints.

Among older adults, pseudogout is a common cause of sudden (acute) arthritis in one joint.

Pseudogout mainly affects the elderly. However, it can sometimes affect younger patients who have conditions such as:

Because the symptoms are similar, pseudogout can be misdiagnosed as:

Symptoms

  • Attacks of joint pain and fluid buildup in the joint, leading to joint swelling
  • Chronic (long-term) arthritis
  • No symptoms between attacks

Signs and tests

  • An examination of joint fluid would show white blood cells and calcium pyrophosphate crystals.
  • Joint x-rays may show joint damage, calcification of cartilage, and calcium deposits in joint spaces.

Careful testing and analysis of crystals found in joints can help the doctor diagnose the condition. Fortunately, because most conditions involving joint pain are treated by the same medicines (such as steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), an early mistaken diagnosis does not necessarily result in the wrong treatment.

Treatment

Treatment may involve the removal of fluid to relieve pressure within the joint. A needle is placed into the joint and fluid is removed (aspirated).

Steroid injections may be helpful to treat severely inflamed joints. A course of oral steroids is sometimes used when multiple joints are inflamed.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) may help ease painful attacks. Colchicine may be useful in some people.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Most people do well with treatment.

Complications

Permanent joint damage can occur without treatment.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have attacks of joint swelling and joint pain.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent this disorder. However, treating other problems that may cause pseudogout may make the condition less severe, and may help prevent it from developing in patients who don't already have it.

References

Goldman L, Ausiello DA. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.
View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

    Review Date: 5/13/2010

    Review By: Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

    www.adam.com
    www.mercyweb.org
    follow us online
    facebook youtube


    Contact us
    Home  |  Sitemap

    Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
    Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011