What Is Intercritical Gout?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

What is intercritical gout? My uncle was told he has this disease.

Doctor's response

The intervals between attacks of gouty arthritis are referred to as intercritical periods. A patient who has intercritical gout simply has gout that has caused attack(s) of inflammation in a joint(s) in the past, but it is not visibly active at the time the doctor is evaluating the patient. Research has shown that during the intercritical period there is still potential for damage to be occurring in carticage and bone of involved joints.

Intercritical gout in your uncle is simply gout that is not visibly active at the time the doctor evaluated him.

For further example, the diagnosis of gout in a patient with an elevated blood uric acid level and a past history of attacks of inflammation in a single joint may be difficult or not conclusive during an intercritical phase.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018
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