A Pilot Study on Dual-Energy Computed Tomography for Detection of Urate Deposits in Renal Transplant Patients With Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia

J Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Sep;20(6):306-9. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000140.


Background: An increasing role of dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) scan in tophaceous gout assessment is recognized, whereas its role in asymptomatic hyperuricemia is unknown.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of joint and renal monosodium urate deposits by DECT in asymptomatic hyperuricemia.

Methods: Among a renal transplant population with at least 1 year of follow-up, we included 27 patients with sustained hyperuricemia and 11 with normal serum uric acid (SUA) levels. We excluded patients with gout or history of monoarthritis or oligoarthritis. We registered demographic data, drugs, hyperuricemia onset, comorbidities, renal function, and SUA. We used a 128-slice dual-source CT system, and the acquisition protocol included the pelvis and imaging of elbows, wrists, hands, knees, ankles, and feet. The reading process was performed by 2 radiologists.

Results: The mean age was 43.7 ± 12 years, 57.8% were males, and median follow-up was 7 years. Hyperuricemia presented after a median time of 0.61 years after transplantation and had persisted for a median of 3.2 years (0.5-16.8 years). For the hyperuricemic group, the median SUA at the DECT scan and the maximum SUA levels were 7.9 and 8.9 mg/dL, respectively. Groups were similar in most of the clinical variables. We did not find any articular or renal deposit; conversely, we demonstrated a quadriceps tendon deposition in 1 patient with hyperuricemia (prevalence of 0.03%; 95% confidence interval, 0.006%-0.17%).

Conclusions: In these patients with asymptomatic hyperuricemia, the prevalence of monosodium urate deposition assessed by DECT was low; however, larger studies need to be performed for further validation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthrography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gout / diagnostic imaging
  • Gout / epidemiology
  • Gout / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyperuricemia / epidemiology
  • Hyperuricemia / metabolism*
  • Joints / metabolism*
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed
  • Uric Acid / metabolism*


  • Uric Acid