What is the sensitivity and specificity of synovial fluid analysis in the diagnosis of gout?

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

The sensitivity of a synovial fluid analysis for crystals is 84%, with a specificity of 100%. If gout remains a clinical consideration after negative analysis findings, the procedure can be repeated in another joint or with a subsequent flare. Crystals may be absent very early in a flare.

Although the sensitivity of this test is inferior, aspiration of synovial fluid from previously inflamed joints that are not currently inflamed may reveal urate crystals. Such crystals are generally extracellular.


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