Objective: To prospectively assess the efficacy of intramuscular (i.m.) triamcinolone acetonide in the treatment of pseudogout.
Methods: Fourteen patients with crystal proven pseudogout presenting with an acute attack within 5 days of onset were treated with intramuscular triamcinolone acetonide 60 mg and followed for 30 days. Patients with inadequate response were eligible for a 2nd triamcinolone acetonide injection on Day 1-2.
Results: Twelve patients had contraindication to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents (NSAID). Acute arthritis was monoarticular in 10 patients, and involved 2 or more joints in 4 patients. All patients had good clinical response to triamcinolone acetonide based on restoration of near baseline joint range of motion and joint circumference, and at least 50% improvement in patient and physician global assessment. Major clinical improvement occurred by Day 1-2 (2 patients), Day 3-4 (11 patients), and Day 10-14 (one patient). Six patients required a 2nd triamcinolone acetonide injection on Day 1-2. Toxicities were not observed.
Conclusion: I.m. triamcinolone acetonide appears to be safe, well tolerated, and effective in the treatment of pseudogout. It may be a reasonable alternative therapy when NSAID are contraindicated, and for polyarticular attacks where intraarticular corticosteroids are impractical.