Is radiography 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

Plain radiographs may show findings consistent with gout, but these findings are not diagnostic. Early in the disease, radiographs are often normal or show only soft-tissue swelling. Radiographic findings characteristic of gout, which generally do not appear within the first year of disease onset, consist of punched-out erosions or lytic areas with overhanging edges (see the image below). Haziness suggestive of tophi can be seen in late gout, and tophi may calcify.

Gout. Radiograph of erosions with overhanging edge Gout. Radiograph of erosions with overhanging edges.

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