The Difference Between
Gout and Pseudogout
• Pseudogout is a not so well known disease which shows
the similar symptoms or effects as gout.
• Just like gout, it is also a form of arthritis that attacks
suddenly and gives a painful swelling inflammation in
one or more of your joints.
• Gout is the result of too much urid acid in the body that
causes crystallization that forms a type of fine crystals
which is scientifically known as monosodium urate.
• On the other hand pseudogout is caused by the
deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the
synovial fluid of joints. Pseudogout is often referred to
as Calcium Pyprophosphate Deposition Disease, CPPD.
• Thus, what differentiates between gout and CPPD is the
type of crystal deposits.
• Since number of gout cases is many times greater than
the cases of CPPD which makes gout a more popular
and this is why CPPD is known as pseudogout which
literally means "false gout".
• Pseudogout usually occurs in individuals of age 50 and
• One interesting fact is, pseudogout tend to attack
women more frequently while in the case of gout, it is
men that dominate more 90 percent of the cases.
• Reports show that pseudogout can occasionally coexist
with gout. This means that both of those types of
crystal can be found in the same joint fluid at times.
• Researchers have also noted that the cartilage is more
calcified when both forms of deposits is found in a
• While gout can be diagnosed by observing the
symptoms of the affected joints and confirmed with the
uric acid level in the blood test report (although there
some cases where gout attacks people with healthy
uric acid level).
• Since there is not direct correlation between
pseudogout with any of the elements in the blood test,
the most accurate water to diagnose whether a patient
is having CPPD is through X-ray.
• This is because pseudogout is a type of calcifications
known as chondocalcinosis and calcium compound
deposit is visible on the X-ray films.
• Another way to differentiate gout from pseudogout in
the lab is through examination of the synovial fluid
from the joint.
• Under a special powerful microscope called polarizing
microscope, the calcium pyrophosphate crystals can be
identified because both types of crystals have very
different chemical structure.
• Treatments for pseudogout are same as the treatments
for gout. This is because both cases have the same
immune reactions that cause inflammation and pain
regardless of what type of crystal that triggers it.
• Thus, colchicines and NSAIDs (ibuprofen) are
applicable to pseudogout patients. The only exception
is allopurinol which controls the uric acid level in the
blood, it will be useless in the case of CPPD.
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