CHICAGO -- X-ray images known as CT scans can help confirm gout in patients who are suspected of having the painful condition but receive negative results from traditional tests, a Mayo Clinic (http://www.
Physicians traditionally check for gout by using a needle to draw fluid from affected joints and examining the fluid for uric acid crystals. Dual-energy CT scans (http://www.
"We wanted to really challenge the new method by including patients who were only a few days into their first flare of gout," Dr. Bongartz says.
Dr. Bongartz notes that CT scans are significantly more expensive than the standard test for diagnosing gout. He also cautions that, while highly accurate overall, in one subgroup of patients studied -- those with very acute gout -- the CT scan failed to identify 30 percent of cases. The new tool is most helpful when joint fluid cannot be obtained or the fluid analysis comes back negative even when gout is strongly suspected, he says.
Dr. Bongartz will discuss his study, ACR Presentation 1617, at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in Room W183c at the McCormick Place Convention Center (http://mccormickplace.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about and www.mayoclinic.org/news.