Calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition (CPPD) disease is a common arthritis in adults caused by crystals (calcium pyrophosphate) in the joint. CPPD disease sometimes causes attacks of pseudogout, characterized by one or more swollen, warm, painful red joints.
The following have been associated with an increased risk of CPPD and pseudogout:
Symptoms can include:
Usually the attack involves just one joint, but in some patients, several joints are involved. An attack can from last days to a few weeks without treatment.
Only a fraction of patients with CPPD disease will develop pseudogout in their lifetime. Some patients only have one attack, while others have recurrent attacks.
Notably, many patients with CPPD disease have no joint pain and may never develop joint pain. These patients have X-rays that show chondrocalcinosis, which is evidence of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits in the cartilage. Chondrocalcinosis is most common in older adults and can be asymptomatic, meaning that patients with this X-ray finding may have no joint symptoms at all.
To determine if your joint symptoms are due to CPPD disease or pseudogout, our physicians may perform one or more of the following tests:
Our physicians work with patients to develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatments to prevent or remove calcium pyrophosphate crystals do not currently exist. However, CPPD disease and pseudogout symptoms can be treated with medications that target joint pain and inflammation, including:
To learn more about our services or to make an appointment with a Brigham and Women’s Hospital rheumatologist, contact one of our trained coordinators at 1-800-294-9999 to get connected with the best doctor for your needs.
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