Pseudogout: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 5/11/2021

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis (joint inflammation). Pseudogout has this name because its cause and symptoms resemble those of true gout, but gout is related to the presence or urate crystals. Pseudogout is related to aging and is linked to degenerative arthritis.

Signs and symptoms of pseudogout can include

  • sudden, intense joint pain,
  • swollen joints,
  • warmth of the joints,
  • red or purple skin around the affected joint, and
  • severe joint tenderness (even the slightest touch or pressure may bring extreme pain).

Pseudogout usually affects one or a few joints at a given time, but it may affect a variety of joints, with the knee being the most common. Acute attacks of the condition can be brought on by dehydration.

Causes of pseudogout

An abnormal formation of calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) crystals in the joint and surrounding tissues causes pseudogout.

Other pseudogout symptoms and signs

  • Red or Purple Skin Around the Affected Joint
  • Severe Joint Tenderness (Even the Slightest Touch or Pressure May Bring Extreme Pain)
  • Sudden, Intense Joint Pain
  • Swollen Joints
  • Warmth of the Joints


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.