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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2006 December;97(6):495-509

language: English

Pathogenesis, clinical findings and management of acute and chronic gout

Corrado A., D’Onofrio F., Santoro N., Melillo N., Cantatore F. P.

Unit of Rheumatology, University of Foggia Hospital Colonello D’Avanzo, Foggia, Italy


Gout is a chronic metabolic disease caused by a disorder of the purine metabolism leading to hyperuricaemia. It is determined by the deposition of monosodium urate crystals in joints and other tissues which causes an acute inflammatory response and can induce a permanent tissue damage which defines the urate chronic joint disease which is characterised by the appearance of ulceration of the joint cartilage, marginal osteophytosis, geodic and erosive lesions and chronic inflammation of synovial membrane. Gout and hyperuricaemia usually occur after the age of 30 years and more frequently in men. Hyperuricaemia is the result of an increased production of uric acid or its hypoexcretion by the kidneys, or both. In the pathogenesis of gout and hyperuricaemia are involved genetic and environmental factors; further, different pathologic condition such as glycogenosis, renal insufficiency, use of some drugs, are associated with gout. Treatment of acute gout includes colchicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticoids, whereas in the intercritical periods colchicine is effective for preventive purposes. Urate-lowering therapy with xanthine-oxidase inhibitors or uricosuric agents is indicate only in patients with more than two gout crisis per year, tophaceous deposits, uric acid nephrolithiasis, and interstitial renal disease, as asymptomatic hyperuricaemia does not requires any treatment but can be controlled with preventive dietetic measures and changes in lifestyle.

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