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
Prescribing Exercise as Medicine
By Dr Irwin Lim on May 17, 2018
"Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Regular physical activity is highly beneficial for the ...BJC Connected Care
Exercise Right Week 2018
By Sarah Comensoli on May 13, 2018
It's that time of year again! For those of you who haven't heard of it, Exercise Right Week is a national campaign to help inspire all Australians to ...BJC Health and Fitness
A resource for your child with amplified pain
By Dr Irwin Lim on May 11, 2018
I see very few children in my practice. We tend to help divert children to paediatric rheumatologists so they get specialised care by people who know ...BJC Connected Care
Rheum to move: Nuggets from ARA 2018
By Sarah Comensoli on May 9, 2018
If you follow our feed on Facebook, you probably enjoyed (or got sick of) seeing a strong contingent of the BJC team running amuck down in Melbourne ...BJC Health and Fitness
Do I really need an MRI?
By Tim Lee on May 2, 2018
As a keen basketballer (and all round cool dude) I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years. My knee, ankles, lower back and neck have all had ...BJC Health and Fitness
In pain and not motivated? You are not alone.
By Sarah Comensoli on April 23, 2018
Lucy has been coming to our clinic for some time. She is a regular in our group sessions, (often attending first thing in the early morning!) and has ...BJC Health and Fitness
So many off-the-shelf options for Painful Feet!
By Dr Irwin Lim on April 18, 2018
Greetings from Kanazawa! Our family loves Japan as a holiday destination. There’s always something unusual to see and do. With a much larger ...BJC Connected Care
Exercise for Osteoarthritis- Where do I start?!
By Tim Lee on April 10, 2018
Are you keen on increasing your activity levels but you are in pain? Are you interested in starting a new exercise routine but unsure as to where to ...BJC Health and Fitness
Baricitinib for RA. How should I use it?
By Dr Irwin Lim on April 10, 2018
Olumiant (Baricitinib) has recently been approved for use in Australia. We’re just waiting for it to soon come under our Pharmaceutical Benefits ...BJC Connected Care
Why did I become a rheumatologist?
By Dr Irwin Lim on April 2, 2018
In the last week, I've actually been asked twice as to why I picked rheumatology as a specialty. Rheumatology has a low profile and most people I ...BJC Connected Care
Recipe: Baked Salmon - Anti-inflammatory eating
By Monica Kubizniak on March 27, 2018
With Good Friday fast approaching, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite and speedy fish recipes. Some people find cooking fish daunting, ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Recipe: Kangaroo marinated in turmeric
By Monica Kubizniak on January 15, 2018
Did you know that one of the best tasting and nutritious wild meats in the world is our very own kangaroo? It's not just for pets, kangaroo meat is ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Special Hommus: Anti-Inflammatory Eating
By Monica Kubizniak on October 10, 2017
When trying to lose weight, many people find that snacking is their downfall. It's so easy to reach for those processed biscuits, chips and other ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Mango Muffins: Anti-inflammatory cookbook
By Monica Kubizniak on September 26, 2017
Now that the weather is warming up (well in NSW anyway), I'm starting to see mangoes in the shops. So, if you're looking for a cooking activity for ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
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