Risk Factors and Causes of Pseudogout

The cause for pseudogout is unknown. The condition often runs in families and genetic (inherited) factors may contribute to its development. The most significant risk factor for pseudogout is age.

Other risk factors include underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), excess iron storage in the blood (hemochromatosis), overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism), and excessive calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia).

Pseudogout is similar to osteoarthritis in that the condition may develop following trauma to the joint or joint surgery. Injury to the joint can release calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals in the joint fluid, which are common in older patients, and trigger a painful inflammatory response.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2006

Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015