The prevalence of chondrocalcinosis of the symphysis pubis on CT scan and correlation with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease
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Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPP) crystal deposition in the articular cartilage can often be seen radiographically as chondrocalcinosis (CC). CPP crystals preferentially deposit in fibrocartilages such as the knee menisci and symphysis pubis (SP). We sought to determine the prevalence of CC in the SP on computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis. This retrospective study involved readings on 1070 consecutive CTs of the abdomen and pelvis performed over 3 months in patients over 65 years of age. Medical records of 226 patients found to have CC were reviewed to determine age, gender, documentation of CPPD on problem lists or in medical histories, and whether radiology readings of the CTs mentioned CC. SP CC was identified in 21.1 % (226/1070) of consecutive CT scans with the mean age of CT+ patients being 78.6. Of the 226 patients with SP CC, the observation of CC was documented in only 5.3 % (12/226) of the radiology reports. Of the 12 instances in which the radiology reports mentioned CC, this observation was never (0/12) transmitted to the medical history or problem list. The prevalence of SP CC in patients older than 65 was 21.1 %. Since the majority of CTs of the abdomen and pelvis are not ordered for evaluation of musculoskeletal conditions, this is likely a true prevalence without selection bias. When CC of the SP was present on images, radiologists routinely overlooked or chose not to report CC. Even in the rare instances when it was reported, that information was not added to the medical history or problem list. There are several clinical situations (e.g., acute monoarthritis or atypical osteoarthritis) in which recognizing that a patient has CPP deposition would be useful. Taking the time to review images may yield clinically important findings that are not mentioned anywhere on the patient chart.
KeywordsCalium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease Chondrocalcinosis CT scan Symphysis pubis
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Sergey Tarima for his assistance with the statistical analysis.
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