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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2010 Apr;12(2):142-8. doi: 10.1007/s11926-010-0091-4.

The role of uric acid and other crystals in osteoarthritis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Clinicians have long assumed that an association exists between crystal arthropathies and the presence of osteoarthritis (OA). However, studies establishing an independent association between calcium pyrophosphate or uric acid crystal disease and OA are sparse. Even less is known about a possible pathogenic relationship. Whereas some studies suggest that the relationships between crystals and OA may not be incidental and that crystal deposition may contribute to the onset and/or acceleration of OA joint damage, other authors have challenged this assertion. In this review, we provide an overview of past and current research elucidating the role of crystal deposition, including monosodium urate, calcium pyrophosphate, and other crystals, in OA. Given the clinical frequency of gout and that agents exist to modulate serum UA levels, special attention is given to the role of monosodium urate crystals.

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