Unravelling the mysteries of gout by multimodality imaging.
Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis that manifests as an aggregate of variably symptomatic monosodium urate crystals (MSU) in the joints and surrounding tissues in addition to multisystem involvement such as genitourinary and cardiovascular systems. In recent decades, there has been a documented increase in the prevalence and incidence of gout. Risk factors for gout include obesity, dietary influences, hypertension, renal impairment, and diuretic use. A prompt diagnosis followed by uric acid lowering treatment prior to the onset of bone destruction is the goal in any suspected case of gout. Advanced imaging modalities, such as dual energy computed tomography (DECT) and ultrasonography (US), employed for the diagnosis of gout are each accompanied by advantages and disadvantages. Conventional radiography (CR), although useful in visualizing joint erosions and mineralization, is limited in its ability to diagnose gout flare. Although synovial fluid aspiration remains the gold standard for MSU crystal visualization, less-invasive imaging modalities are preferred to avoid potential complications. DECT and US in particular are useful in the diagnosis of gout. In this review, we will discuss the current state and role of imaging in the detection of gout.
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