Overview of Pseudogout

Pseudogout is a chronic recurrent form of arthritis that is similar to gout. It causes sudden attacks of painful swelling, inflammation, and warmth in the joints. Pseudogout most commonly affects the knee, but it can also affect the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. In some cases, more than one joint is involved.

Pseudogout, which is also called calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, results from the build up of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals in the fluid within the joints (synovial fluid). It is differentiated from gout by the type of crystals in the joint fluid (i.e., gout results from the build up of uric acid crystals).

Incidence and Prevalence of Pseudogout

According to the American College of Rheumatology, the incidence of pseudogout increases with age. Between the ages of 50 and 60, the condition affects as many as 3 percent of people, although not all experience severe symptoms. Pseudogout affects approximately 50 percent of people over the age of 85.

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

Published: 31 May 2006

Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015