Pseudogout – Conditions, Symptoms, Treatment

Pseudogout is a joint disease. Attacks of arthritis can be caused by it. It is similar to gout. Crystals are formed in the joints in Gout. However, in Pseudo gout, the formations of crystals are not due to uric acid, but due to salt.  The main cause of pseudogout is the collection of salt which is also known as calciumpyrophosphate dihydrate. The salt is built up and crystals are formed in the joints. Thus, this leads to a lot of pain and swelling in the knees, joints, ankles and wrists.

A very common cause of acute and sudden arthritis in a joint is pseudogout. The elderly people are mainly affected by pseudogout. However, sometimes the younger patients are also affected. These young patients have condition such as:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Ochronosis
  • Acromegaly
  • Wilson disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Parathyroid disease

Misdiagnosis can take place as the symptoms are very similar to gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

The symptoms include:

  • Chronic or long term arthritis
  • No symptoms between attacks
  • Attacks of fluid buildup or joint pain which then lead to joint swelling

Examination of the joint fluid is done. This shows the calcium pyrophosphate crystals as well as white blood cells. Joint damage may also be shown in the joint x-rays. This can also show the calcium deposits as well as calcification of cartilage. Careful analysis and testing of crystals are found in the joints. This will help the doctor in diagnosing the condition properly.

The treatment involves medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as steroids.  The fluid is also removed for relieving the pressure in the joints. The placement of needle is done in the joint and removal of fluid is done.  If the joints are severely inflamed, steroids are used. NSAIDs help in easing painful attacks.