How is Gout Diagnosed?
A definite diagnosis of gout is made by demonstrating the presence of uric acid crystals within a joint fluid that is taken from the joint. This procedure is called joint aspiration, which involves the withdrawal of fluid into a syringe through a needle that is placed within the joint.
As mentioned above, the first big toe joint is often affected first but it can be difficult to get a sample from such a small joint.
An experienced doctor can make a clinical diagnosis based on the underlying risk factors for gout, the clinical presentation, and blood tests, particularly when these demonstrate hyperuricaemia and an elevation of inflammatory markers such as ESR and CRP.
There is a caveat to this. It is not uncommon to see a normal blood uric acid level during an acute attack. Therefore, a normal blood uric acid level does not exclude gout and it should be tested again a few weeks after a recent attack of gout.
Dual energy CT scanning is a relatively new technology that has recently become available to evaluate for the presence of uric acid crystals in a joint.
Early data suggests it has high specificity (0.93) and moderate sensitivity (0.78) (1). This means that we can confidently conclude the presence of gout with a positive scan, but a negative scan does not exclude the condition.
Get the help you deserve - call us on 1300 252 698
or complete the form for a call back
Our Latest Articles
The Rheumatology Spiel
By Dr Irwin Lim on August 17, 2017
Rheumatologists say the same thing over-and-over again to different patients. Over the last 14 years, I would have given my spiel about various ...BJC Connected Care
What is SIJ pain?
By Jacqueline Chang on August 14, 2017
The past few weeks the Health and Fittness blog has talked a lot about low back pain. But is your back pain actually lower than your back? Does it ...BJC Health and Fitness
BJC Health JAM session makes Arthritis & Rheumatology sweeter
By Dr Irwin Lim on August 13, 2017
Arthritis and rheumatology tends to be viewed as a little unsexy. Many of the diseases we deal with suffer with poor awareness, and typically, GPs ...BJC Connected Care
Joint Damage Simulator for PsA & RA
By Dr Irwin Lim on August 8, 2017
Our rheumatology care coordinator, Flora, made me aware of this joint damage simulator for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). ...BJC Connected Care
Why do I get low back pain when I run?
By Sarah Comensoli on August 3, 2017
With the lovely warm weather in Sydney this past weekend, my running shoes called. A few of my clients must have felt the same way. One of them wrote ...BJC Health and Fitness
Low back pain, how long does it last?
By Sarah Comensoli on July 31, 2017
Have you ever had a bout of low back pain? Chances are that for up to 80% of you reading this, the answer is yes. The duration of which your low back ...BJC Connected Care
What exercises are safe for those with Ankylosing Spondylitis?
By Jacqueline Chang on July 31, 2017
A common worry for those diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), is “What kind of exercise is safe for me?” Exercise is an important part of gold ...BJC Health and Fitness
Sacroiliac joint X-rays in diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis
By Dr Irwin Lim on July 25, 2017
When I read a report of an X-ray of sacroiliac joints, I always have to be a little circumspect. The joints are difficult to actually take an image ...BJC Connected Care
Can I exercise with inflammatory arthritis?
By Jacqueline Chang on July 14, 2017
Are you becoming less active due to pain - and is that stopping you from acting like your age? For the past ten years Tom had suffered from low back ...BJC Health and Fitness
5 ways to manage those niggles..
By Sarah Comensoli on July 4, 2017
Have you ever had some neck tightness that thankfully just went away on its own? Or perhaps a sore muscle which despite resting started to interrupt ...BJC Health and Fitness
Mediterranean Eating In!
By Monica Kubizniak on May 1, 2017
The Daily Telegraph featured a great story on Wednesday 26th April titled: Have a Big Fat Greek Shedding, Oz diet out, Mediterranean eating in. I ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Is it possible to eat anti-inflammatory food at Christmas?
By Monica Kubizniak on December 13, 2016
If your life is anything like mine at the moment there are Christmas parties for children, work, mother’s group, clients, neighbours and family ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
BJC JAM - Great Conference Day!
By Monica Kubizniak on November 7, 2016
On Saturday the 29th of October, BJC JAM was run at UTS and it was a great day! Doctors, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists came together to ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
I am NOT a superwoman - thank goodness for our cookbook
By Monica Kubizniak on October 17, 2016
I see clients every week from all walks of life, working in many different jobs and with different work hours. I have clients who are male, ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Bone Health and Osteoporosis on My Mind
By Monica Kubizniak on September 15, 2016
In the last month I have been given two wonderful opportunities to talk about osteoporosis - the most common disease of the bone. I was asked to be ...BJC Diet and Nutrition