The definitive classification or diagnosis of gout normally relies upon the identification of MSU crystals in SF or from tophi. Where microscopic examination of SF is not available or is impractical, the best approach may differ depending upon the context. For many types of research, clinical classification criteria are necessary. The increasing prevalence of gout, advances in therapeutics and the development of international research collaborations to understand the impact, mechanisms and optimal treatment of this condition emphasize the need for accurate and uniform classification criteria for gout. Five clinical classification criteria for gout currently exist. However, none of the currently available criteria has been adequately validated. An international project is currently under way to develop new validated gout classification criteria. These criteria will be an essential step forward to advance the research agenda in the modern era of gout management.
Keywords: classification; gout; research; urate.