One- and 2-year Flare Rates After Treat-to-Target and Tight-Control Therapy of Gout

Results From the NOR-Gout Study

Till Uhlig; Lars F. Karoliussen; Joe Sexton; Tore K. Kvien; Espen A. Haavardsholm; Fernando Perez-Ruiz; Hilde Berner Hammer


Arthritis Res Ther. 2022;24(88) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Objectives: To explore the frequency and predictors of flares over 2 years during a treat-to-target strategy with urate-lowering therapy (ULT) in patients with gout.

Methods: In the treat-to-target, tight control NOR-Gout study patients started ULT with escalating doses of allopurinol. Flares were recorded over 2 years. Baseline predictors of flares during months 9–12 in year 1 and during year 2 were analyzed by multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Of 211 patients included (mean age 56.4 years, disease duration 7.8 years, 95% males), 81% (150/186) of patients experienced at least one gout flare during the first year and 26% (45/173) during the second year. The highest frequency of flares in the first year was seen during months 3–6 (46.8% of patients).

Baseline crystal depositions detected by ultrasound and by dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) were the only variables which predicted flares both during the first period of interest at months 9–12 (OR 1.033; 95% CI 1.010–1.057, and OR 1.056; 95% CI 1.007–1.108) and also in year 2. Baseline subcutaneous tophi (OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.50–5.59) and prior use of colchicine at baseline (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.28–4.79) were independent predictors of flares during months 9–12, whereas self-efficacy for pain was a protective predictor (OR 0.98 per unit, 95% CI 0.964–0.996).

Conclusions: In patients with gout, flares remain frequent during the first year of a treat-to-target ULT strategy, especially during months 3–6, but are much less frequent during year 2. Baseline crystal depositions predict flares over 2 years, supporting ULT early during disease course.

Trial registration: ACTRN12618001372279