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Causes Symptoms Diagnosis




Gout Diet


Pseudogout is a joint disease that may include intermittent attacks of arthritis

Causes of Pseudogout

Pseudogout is caused by the collection of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in joints. There may be attacks of joint swelling and pain in the knees, wrists, ankles, and other joints.

This condition primarily affects the elderly and usually has no known cause. However, it can sometimes affect younger patients who have conditions such as acromegaly, ochronosis, thyroid disease, hemochromatosis, Wilson disease, and parathyroid disease, which are known to increase risk.

Pseudogout can be initially be misdiagnosed as gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis because the symptoms are similar to those of these conditions.

Careful workup, with analysis of crystals found in joints, should ultimately lead to the correct diagnosis. Fortunately, because most conditions involving joint pain are treated by the same medicines, early misdiagnosis does not necessarily result in inappropriate treatment. Such treatment often includes steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),

Symptoms of Pseudogout

  • Attacks of joint pain and fluid accumulation in the joint, leading to joint swelling
  • No symptoms between attacks
  • Chronic arthritis

Diagnosis of Pseudogout

  • Culture of joint fluid reveals white blood cells and calcium pyrophosphate crystals.
  • Joint X-rays may show joint damage, calcification of cartilage, and chondrocalcinosis (calcium deposits in joint spaces).

Treatment of Pseudogout

Treatment may involve joint aspiration to relieve pressure within the joint caused by fluid buildup. 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 the pain of acute attacks. Colchicine may be useful in some people.






This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis. is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

We have contributing authors that send information. Where information is provided by an outside author it is acknowledged by a byline under the title.

Updates of Pages.

Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.