Relevant imaging elements for gout diagnosis and treatment

Eloy De Avila Fernandes, Samuel Brighenti Bergamaschi, Tatiane Cantarelli Rodrigues, Gustavo Coelho Dias, Ralff Malmann, Germano Martins Ramos, Soraya Silveira Monteiro

Article ID: 1749
Vol 5, Issue 1, 2022

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Gout is an arthritis characterized by the deposition of sodium monoacid crystals in the synovial membrane, articular cartilage, and periarticular tissues that leads to an inflamatory process. In most cases, the diagnosis is established by clinical criteria and analysis of the synovial fluid for MSU crystals. However, gout may manifest in atypical ways and make diagnosis difficult. In these situations, imaging studies play a fundamental role in helping to confirm the diagnosis or even exclude other differential diagnoses. Conventional radiography is still the most commonly used method in the follow-up of these patients, but it is a very insensitive test, because it only detects late changes. In recent years, advances in imaging methods have emerged in relation to gout. Ultrasound has proven to be a highly accurate test in the diagnosis of gout, identifying MSU deposits in articular cartilage and periarticular tissues, and detecting and characterizing tophi, tendinopathies, and tophi enthesopathies. Computed tomography is an excellent exam for the detection of bone erosions and evaluation of spinal involvement. Dual-energy computed tomography, a new method that provides information on the chemical composition of tissues, allows identification of MSU deposits with high accuracy. MRI can be useful in the evaluation of deep tissues not accessible by ultrasound. In addition to diagnosis, with the emergence of drugs that aim to reduce the tophaceous burden, imaging examinations become a useful tool in the follow-up treatment of gout patients.


Gout; Ultrasonography; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Dual-energy Computed Tomography

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