Unusual radiographic changes of a gout patient
Background. Gout is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperuricemia and accumulation of uric acid crystals (urats) in tissues, especially joint cartilage. The gouty arthritis presents as acute attacks of arthritis leading eventually to chronic gouty arthritis. In 80% of cases it first occurs in the matatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint of the great toe and is more frequent in male population.
Case report. We present a case of unusual radiographic changes accompanying gouty arthritis. A 63 year old female complained about swelling of the first MTP joint on the right, right knee, about stiffness of feet and hands’digits and about backache. First symptoms started to appear 30 years ago. In the time of examination radiographs displayed degenerative changes of the majority of presented joints, bilateral sacroiliitis and osseous ankylosis of both insteps. Microscopic examination showed urate crystals in the samples of the synovial fluid aspirated from the knee. The histological findings of the synovial tissue after the synovectomy were also in favour of gouty arthritis.
Conclusions. Radiographs are the most important imaging modality in the diagnostic process of gout. However, radiographic differential diagnosis can be difficult, since the findings overlap with other conditions which cause arthritis and osteoarthritis especially in longstanding gout, elderly patients and females. The diagnosis must be often confirmed with the help of laboratory and histological findings.