Ultrasound vs. dual energy CT for accurate diagnosis of gout

Which one is better at spotting gout in the hand and wrist?

In a clinical setting, it can be difficult to accurately and quickly confirm a diagnosis of gout. Gout rates have reportedly tripled world-wide; the prevalence of gout in women has increased, and gout in the hand and wrist is being reported more frequently now.  

Gout can present suddenly, with joint pain and swelling. Often, gout is thought to be isolated to the hallux, or big toe, of the foot, but literature is showing this can present in the hand and wrist as well. Gout can present also as ‘gout attacks’ in which the patient experiences sudden onset of a burning sensation.

This article examined whether ultrasound (US) or dual energy CT (DECT) was more accurate in detecting a suspected positive case of gout. DECT has previously been proposed as the gold standard. However, access to DECT can be difficult, and US may be a feasible alternative.


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