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Pseudogout

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis caused by crystals that build up in the joints and cause severe bouts of pain. The symptoms of pseudogout can resemble those of gout, but the conditions develop from different types of crystals. The most commonly affected joints are the knees, wrists, elbows and ankles.

Pseudogout occurs when calcium pyrophosphate crystals form deposits in the joints, triggering inflammation. Another term for the disease is calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition, although strictly speaking, not everyone with CPPD develops symptoms. Gout, on the other hand, is caused by crystals made of uric acid. Laboratory examination of the fluid from a painful joint helps to confirm a diagnosis of pseudogout.

A pseudogout attack typically affects a single joint—often a knee—for anywhere between a few days and two weeks. Symptoms then go away until the next flare-up. However, some people develop chronic pain and inflammation. Additionally, repeated pseudogout attacks can permanently damage the joints, causing persistent pain and stiffness.

In most cases, doctors do not know why CPPD deposits occur. However, such deposits become more common with age, and pseudogout primarily affects people older than 60.

For patients with pseudogout or calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition, early diagnosis is crucial so effective treatment can begin to stave off long-term damage to the joints. Unfortunately, diagnosis is not always easy—or prompt. Pseudogout is easily confused with other disorders such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. At Indiana University Health, our experts provide treatment for pseudogout to relieve symptoms, prevent further attacks and help patients avoid joint damage. Although there is no cure for pseudogout, with appropriate treatment most patients are able to obtain relief from symptoms and avoid serious complications.

Our affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine ensures that we have access to the latest advances in managing rheumatic disorders such as pseudogout. We also help to train new generations of physicians and carry out research to improve diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Pseudogout Treatment Information

Treatment options for pseudogout include:


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Pseudogout Support Services

Additional information on pseudogout is available from several national organizations. They include: