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Gout and a pseudogout are similar conditions caused by different crystal deposits in joints.

Pseudogout is a very specific condition very similar to gout with one difference - th deposits responsible for the arthritis attacks in the joints are made of calcium Pyrophosphate crystals. The condition is also called chondro-calcinosis.

The possible causes of pseudogout

It is proven that pseudogout results from the abnormal formation of calcium Pyrophosphate crystals in the cartilage. The whole process is later followed by the release of crystals into the joint fluid. This is causing the sudden attacks of arthritis, similar to gout. Unlike with gout, the cause of pseudogout is still unknown. There are several theories that tried to explain the mechanism behind this disorder. This buildup could form due to abnormal cells in the cartilage, or they may be produced as the result of another disease that damages cartilage. Sudden illness, joint injury or surgery are also considered possible triggers for the condition.This condition may also be hereditary.

Symptoms of pseudogout

The symptoms are similar to gout in that the pain and swelling occur in the joints around the elbows, wrists, ankles, knees, fingers, and toes. However, unlike gout, pseudogout can also affect the hips and shoulder joints, and attacks are not as severe.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Sudden, intense joint pain.
  • Swollen joint that's warm to the touch.
  • Red or purple skin around the joint.

Who is at risk for developing pseudogout?

Pseudogout affects both men and women equally. It is proven that pseudogout occurs more frequently in people as they age, usually after the age of 60.
Research has proven that some people have an increased risk for pseudogout. Those are people who have:

  • thyroid condition,
  • kidney failure,
  • disorders that affect calcium, phosphate or iron metabolism

Diagnosis of pseudogout

Unlike gout, pseudogout cannot be diagnosed simply by a blood test.

An X-ray of the joint
This diagnostic tool could be used to seek for the presence of calcium containing crystals.

Analisys of the joint fluid
In this test, fluid is removed from the inflamed joint and analyzed under a microscope. The presence of CPP crystals indicates pseudogout.

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