Rheumatology International

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 763–771 | Cite as

Systemic staging for urate crystal deposits with dual-energy CT and ultrasound in patients with suspected gout

  • Alexander Huppertz
  • Kay-Geert A. Hermann
  • Torsten Diekhoff
  • Moritz Wagner
  • Bernd Hamm
  • Wolfgang A. Schmidt
Original Article

Abstract

Objective of the study is to compare the diagnostic accuracy for detecting monosodium urate crystal deposits between dual-energy CT (DECT) and ultrasound (US). Sixty consecutive patients (49 men, mean age 62 years) with clinically suspected gout were included in this case–control study. DECT and US of feet, knees, hands and elbows were performed in all patients. Polarisation microscopy of synovial fluid or a score incorporating serum uric acid level, first MTP joint involvement, gender, previous patient-reported arthritis attack, cardiovascular diseases, joint redness and onset within 1 day was used as standard of reference. Standard of reference classified 39 patients as gout positive. Sixteen patients had gout and a concomitant rheumatic disease. Sensitivities for diagnosis of gout disease were 84.6 % (33/39) for DECT and 100 % (39/39) for US. Specificities were 85.7 % (18/21) for DECT and 76.2 % (16/21) for US. Positive and negative predictive values were 91.7 % (33/36) and 75.0 % (18/24) for DECT, 88.6 % (39/44) and 100 % (16/16) for US, respectively. Urate crystals were detected most frequently in MTP1 joints (DECT 20/78, US 58/78), any other toe joints (DECT 25/78, US 62/78) and knees (DECT 41/78, US 31/78). The volumetry of DECT computed a mean urate crystal deposit load of 2.1 cm3 (SD 9.6 cm3). A mean effective dose of ≤0.5 mSv was estimated. DECT is more specific for the diagnosis of gout than US. However, it fails to detect small urate crystal deposits. It might be particularly useful for patients with ambivalent findings, concomitant rheumatic diseases and with non-conclusive joint aspiration.

Keywords

Gout Crystal deposition arthropathy Dual-energy computed tomography Ultrasonography Polarisation microscopy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors especially thank Carina Schuecke for the CT data acquisition and Carsten Schwenke (SCOSSiS Statistical Consulting) for his assistance in the statistical evaluation.

Conflict of interest

Alexander Huppertz is a full-time paid employee of Siemens AG since June 1, 2004. His function is Associate Director of the Imaging Science Institute Charité. The Institute is a scientific cooperation between the Charité, University Hospitals of Berlin, Germany and Siemens Healthcare in form of a private–public partnership (PPP). Wolfgang A Schmidt received research grants from Esaote SpA and General Electrics. All other authors have no competing interests to declare with respect to this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Huppertz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kay-Geert A. Hermann
    • 1
  • Torsten Diekhoff
    • 1
  • Moritz Wagner
    • 1
  • Bernd Hamm
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wolfgang A. Schmidt
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCharité – University HospitalsBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Imaging Science Institute CharitéBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Medical Center of RheumatologyImmanuel Krankenhaus Berlin-BuchBerlinGermany

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