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Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate

Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Crystal Deposition (CAL-see-um PIE-row-FOX-fate DIE-high-drate DEH-poo-ZISH-un) is a condition that causes pain, redness, heat, and swelling in one or more joints. Also referred to as Pseudo Gout or Chondrocalcinosis.

Causes of Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate

It is caused by deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in a joint, which weaken the cartilage and cause it to break down more easily. The presence of these tiny CPPD crystals in the joints, and the body's reaction to these crystals, creates inflammation to attack the crystals. It is not known why the body forms these crystals, but may be an abnormality in the cartilage cells or connective tissue. The cause also may be a genetic tendency.

Symptoms of Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate

The movement of the CPPD crystals into joints can cause sudden and severe pain in the joint. Inflammation may occur causing redness, warmth and swelling of the joint. Over time, damage may be done to the cartilage (which acts as a cushion between bones) allowing bone to rub against bone.


Diagnosis of Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate

Detailed medical history

Joint aspiration to check for crystals

Joint X-rays to show crystals

Blood tests to rule out other diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis

Treatment Options



Removing fluid and crystals

Surgery (sometimes)

Modified 3-8-04
Information compiled from the National Institutes of Health


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