Is synovial fluid analysis useful in the diagnosis of gout and pseudogout?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021
  • Author: Bruce M Rothschild, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

When a patient presents with acute inflammatory monoarticular arthritis, aspiration of the involved joint is critical to rule out an infectious arthritis and to attempt to confirm a diagnosis of gout or pseudogout on the basis of identification of crystals (see the image below). Minute quantities of fluid in the shaft or hub of the needle are sufficient for synovial fluid analysis.

Gout. Fluid obtained from tophaceous deposit in pa Gout. Fluid obtained from tophaceous deposit in patient with gout.

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