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When is CT Scanning a Good Option for Diagnosing Gout?

March 25, 2013 by Teresa.

If you suffer from the pain of gout, but are unable to get a proper diagnosis from traditional tests, CT scans can help to confirm the presence of the disease. This is encouraging news. After all, it can be extremely frustrating to experience chronic pain, often debilitating, and yet not be able to confirm with the doctor that you, indeed, have gout.

When uric acid crystals begin to build up around the joints of your toes and fingers this can cause inflammation which creates a great deal of pain and can eventually even become disabling and disfiguring. Although men are more likely to have gout, women are not immune, especially after menopause.

Typically, the doctor will withdraw fluid from the joints where the patient is experiencing pain. The fluid will then be examined for uric acid crystal content. However, for those patients who for one reason or another cannot have the fluid withdrawn or who continue to have tests that come back showing negative results, CT scanning at that point may be a more accurate and consistent method of diagnosis. Generally speaking, the diagnosis of gout is a fairly straightforward process. Yet, on occasion the disease presents in an atypical fashion. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteomyelitis are two diseases that can also mimic the symptoms of gout, thereby contributing to the confusion.

Duel energy computed tomography is a type of CT scan which can replace the traditional method of drawing fluid from the joints. Unfortunately, CT scans are considerably more expensive than the normal tests conducted. Also, there still remains a number of patients for whom the scans do not work. This method of scanning had already been proven to be highly accurate at spotting kidney stones. It was inevitable, perhaps, that testing would be conducted to determine whether it would work as effectively for identifying uric crystals.

At the end of the day, the fact remains that living with the daily pain of chronic gout without a proper diagnosis can be very frustrating. For those cases, in particular, the possibility of CT scanning holds great promise.

Filed under: Gout Suffers, Gout Treatment and Prevention, New Study.

Tags: ct scanning, ct scans, diagnosing gout, pain of gout, symptoms of gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteomyelitis, pain of chronic gout.

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