Ultrasound imaging in crystal arthropathies: a pictorial review

Reumatismo. 2023 Dec 19;75(4). doi: 10.4081/reumatismo.2023.1583.


Objective: The prevalence of crystal arthropathies in the general population is rising. The purpose of this pictorial study is to describe the sonographic elements of the most prevalent crystal arthropathies by emphasizing particular sonographic findings using illustrative images and cases while considering technical details and common pitfalls.

Methods: Using established recommendations, specialists in the fields of sonography and crystal arthropathies agreed by consensus on the unique ultrasound signs associated with each of the conditions.

Results: Gout, calcium pyrophosphate deposition arthropathy, and hydroxyapatite arthropathy are the three most prevalent crystal arthropathies. Today's high-resolution sonography enables reliable evaluation of the underlying crystal deposits, post-inflammatory changes, and a precise description of joint inflammation.

Conclusions: High-prevalence crystal arthropathies are reliably detectable by ultrasound with current ultrasound equipment. It is necessary to have extensive ultrasound training, know specific sonographic findings, and understand all possible differential diagnoses for disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Pyrophosphate
  • Chondrocalcinosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Crystal Arthropathies* / diagnostic imaging
  • Gout* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography


  • Calcium Pyrophosphate

Supplementary concepts

  • Chondrocalcinosis 2