Imaging in gout: A review of the recent developments

Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2014 Aug;6(4):131-43. doi: 10.1177/1759720X14542960.


Gout is a common inflammatory arthritis and is caused by accumulation of monosodium urate crystals in joints and soft tissues. Apart from joint damage, untreated gout is associated with cardiovascular and renal morbidity. Gout, whilst in principle considered to be well understood and simple to treat, often presents diagnostic and management challenges, with evidence to suggest that it is often inadequately treated and poor compliance is a major issue. Imaging tools can aid clinicians in establishing the correct diagnosis, when histological crystal diagnosis is unable to be established, and also assess the burden of inflammatory and structural disease. Imaging can also be used to monitor treatment response. The imaging techniques that currently have a role in the imaging of gout include conventional radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography, dual energy computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine. Despite the lack of major technological advances in imaging of gout in recent years, scientific studies of existing imaging modalities have improved our understanding of the disease, and how to best utilize imaging techniques in the clinical setting.

Keywords: asymptomatic hyperuricemia; computed tomography; conventional radiography; dual energy computed tomography; erosions; magnetic resonance imaging; nuclear medicine; plane X-ray; tophus; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review