Gout Slideshow: Watch and Learn About Gout
Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on Thursday, September 08, 2011
Gouty arthritis is a painful condition that results from crystals of uric acid depositing in joint tissues, causing attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis).
Obesity, weight gain, alcohol intake, high blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, and certain drugs can promote the development of gout.
Gouty arthritis is characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness.
Severe gout in the fingers results in large, hard deposits of crystals of uric acid. These deposits are called tophi.
Using a sterile syringe and needle, fluid is withdrawn from the inflamed joint and then analyzed for uric acid crystals.
Bright, needle-like uric acid crystals are best viewed with a polarizing microscope (left). Needles of urate crystals under polarized microscopy are on the right.
Medical treatment includes pain relievers such as Tylenol, antiinflammatory medicines, and other medicines specific for gout medications.
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