Do we really need to pay attention to the less common crystals?

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1999 Sep;11(5):446-52. doi: 10.1097/00002281-199909000-00021.


In addition to monosodium urate, calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate, and apatite crystals, a wide variety of less common crystals, artifacts, and, occasionally, some unidentified birefringent materials may be seen in synovial fluids in association with acute or chronic arthritis. These unusual crystals and their associated musculoskeletal manifestations may be confused with the more common crystals and their manifestations and sometimes may provide the clue for systemic disease because they may present with a pseudovasculitis syndrome. Important advances in understanding the molecular aspect and management of primary hyperoxalurias as well as nephropathic cystinosis provide important general information to be applied in research and in the search for a more effective management of other common crystal-induced arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / etiology
  • Arthritis / metabolism
  • Crystallization*
  • Humans
  • Synovial Fluid / chemistry