Purpose of review: Gout is a painful inflammatory arthritis associated with hyperuricemia, with a prevalence of almost 10 million in the USA. Reduced renal excretion of urate is the underlying hyperuricemic mechanism in the vast majority of gout patients; most of the genes that affect serum urate level (SUA) encode urate transporters or associated regulatory proteins. Acquired influences can also modulate SUA and renal urate excretion, sometimes precipitating acute gout. Coincidentally, the prevalence of renal comorbidities in gout - hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and nephrolithiasis - is very high.
Recent findings: Recent advances in genetics and molecular physiology have greatly enhanced the understanding of renal reabsorption and secretion of filtered urate. Moreover, baseline SUA appears to be set by the net balance of absorption and secretion across epithelial cells in the kidney and intestine. There have also been substantial advances in the management of gout in patients with CKD.
Summary: The stage is set for an increasingly molecular understanding of baseline and regulated urate transport by the kidney and intestine. The increasing prevalence of gout with CKD will be balanced by an expanding spectrum of therapeutic options for this important disease.