Disease Information for Pseudogout syndrome: Definition

  • Pseudogout is a form of arthritis characterized by sudden, painful attacks of swelling and warmth that can affect one or more of your joints for days or weeks; Pseudogout typically occurs in older adults and most commonly affects the knee;

    Pseudogout is so named for its similarity to gout; Like gout, pseudogout causes sudden, severe pain in a joint, triggered by crystals in the joint lining; But unlike gout, which usually affects the big toe joint, pseudogout usually affects the large joints of the arms and legs; And pseudogout is caused by a different type of crystal — calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals;

    It isn"t clear why CPPD crystals form in your joints and cause pseudogout; Treatment focuses on relieving pain, and pseudogout improves on its own; Some people experience recurring pseudogout attacks; Pseudogout is a common term for a condition called calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease; In actuality, pseudogout is just one feature of this larger disease; Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease can also cause calcification of joint cartilage (chondrocalcinosis) and joint degeneration, though you won"t necessarily experience all of these manifestations; Signs and symptoms

    Pseudogout most commonly affects the knees; Other joints that may be involved include the ankles, hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders;

    If you have pseudogout, you might experience: Swelling of affected joint,

    Redness , Warmth, Severe joint pain Pseudogout occurs when CPPD crystals collect in the lining of your joint (synovium); The crystals form in the cartilage in and around your joints; It isn"t clear why this occurs; CPPD crystals migrate to the synovium and cause inflammation, which leads to the signs and symptoms of pseudogout; Nearly half of all people 85 and older have CPPD crystals in their joints, though most won"t experience signs and symptoms of pseudogout; Why some people with joint crystals experience pseudogout and others don"t isn"t known; Risk factors: Several factors are known to increase your risk of developing CPPD crystals that can increase your risk of pseudogout, including:

    Older age; Older adults are more likely to experience pseudogout because CPPD crystals are more commonly found in the joints of older people;

    Joint trauma; Trauma to a joint, such as a serious injury or a joint replacement surgery, increases your risk of developing CPPD crystals in your joints;

    Genetic disorder; Families can pass predisposition to CPPD crystals through their genes; People with familial chondrocalcinosis, the name for the inherited condition, tend to develop signs and symptoms of CPPD crystal disease earlier in life; Excess iron stored in your body (hemochromatosis); This inherited disorder causes your body to store excess iron in your organs and the tissues around your joints; It"s believed the iron in your joints leads to the development of CPPD crystals----------------------------[Mayo Clinic Website 2007]----------------------