What Is Intercritical Gout?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

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.