Pseudogout (cont.)

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What are risk factors for pseudogout?

Risk factors for pseudogout include hyperparathyroidism, amyloidosis, gout, and degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis).

What are pseudogout symptoms and signs?

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Pseudogout can result in arthritis of a number of joints. Most common is the knee, but it can also involve the wrists, shoulders, hips, and/or ankles. Pseudogout usually affects only one or a few joints at a time. The "attacks" of joint inflammation, characterized by acute joint swelling, warmth, stiffness, and pain, may last for days to weeks and can resolve spontaneously.

How does a doctor diagnose pseudogout?

Pseudogout is suggested when abnormal calcifications are seen in the cartilage of joints on X-ray testing. These calcifications are referred to as chondrocalcinosis.

The arthritis of pseudogout is common in older adults, particularly in the context of dehydration such as occurs with hospitalization or surgery.

The diagnosis of pseudogout is ultimately made when fluid from a joint is examined under a special microscope called a polarizing microscope. With this microscope, the calcium pyrophosphate crystals are clearly identified by their characteristic shape and color (medically term weakly positively birefringent rhomboid crystals).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/14/2012

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