European Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 3989–3999 | Cite as

Gouty arthritis: the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of dual-energy CT

  • Tim Finkenstaedt
  • Andrei Manoliou
  • Martin Toniolo
  • Kai Higashigaito
  • Gustav Andreisek
  • Roman Guggenberger
  • Beat Michel
  • Hatem AlkadhiEmail author
Computed Tomography



To determine the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) in gout.


Forty-three patients with (n = 20) and without a history of gout (n = 23) showing non-specific soft tissue deposits underwent DECT after unrewarding arthrocentesis. Two blinded, independent readers evaluated DECT for the presence of urate crystals. Clinical diagnosis, clinically suspected urate crystal locations, diagnostic thinking and therapeutic decisions were noted before and after DECT. Clinical 1-month follow-up was obtained.


DECT showed urate in 26/43 patients (60 %). After DECT, clinical diagnosis of gout was withdrawn in 17/43 (40 %) and was maintained in 16/43 patients (37 %). In 10/43 patients (23 %) the diagnosis was maintained, but DECT revealed urate in clinically unsuspected locations. In 23/43 patients (53 %), a treatment-change based on DECT occurred. Changes in diagnostic thinking occurred more frequently in patients without a history of gout (p < 0.001), changes in therapeutic decisions more frequently in patients with a history of gout (p = 0.014). Clinical follow-up indicated beneficial effects of DECT-based diagnoses in 83 % of patients.


In patients with or without a history of gout and a recent suspicion for gouty arthritis with an unrewarding arthrocentesis, DECT has a marked diagnostic and therapeutic impact when hyperdense soft-tissue deposits are present.

Key Points

This study evaluates the concept of evidence-based radiology

In patients with suspected gout, DECT can help clinicians make the diagnosis

DECT has a marked impact on therapy

Clinical follow-up after 1 month indicated reliable results of DECT


Gout Gouty arthritis Urate Dual-energy computed tomography Evidence-based radiology 



Acute anti-inflammatory drugs


Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease


Dual-energy computed tomography


Evidence-based radiology


Standard deviation


Uric-acid-lowering drugs



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Hatem Alkadhi, MD, MPH, EBCR. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

One of the authors has significant statistical expertise. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board. Methodology: Retrospective, case-control study, performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Finkenstaedt
    • 1
  • Andrei Manoliou
    • 1
  • Martin Toniolo
    • 2
  • Kai Higashigaito
    • 1
  • Gustav Andreisek
    • 1
  • Roman Guggenberger
    • 1
  • Beat Michel
    • 2
  • Hatem Alkadhi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital Zurich and University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of RheumatologyUniversity Hospital Zurich and University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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