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
I’m sorry that I’ve been missing from this blog. ....
Struggle with climbing stairs? Here are some tips to make it easier
By Paul Scalise on February 23, 2020
Picture this: You’re up and walking about, doing some shopping – you’re got some large bags, heavy with food for the week. You are done for the day, ...BJC Health and Fitness
3 breathing exercises to help you relax
By Rhianne Kerr on February 16, 2020
Life can absolutely get stressful and overwhelming at times…Often in those moments of stress, you may notice that your breathing becomes shallow, and ...BJC Health and Fitness
Have fatigue? The Spoon Theory could help
By Dominic Fitzgerald on February 10, 2020
Do you ever feel that event the smallest social outings leave you feeling completely drained? Have you found that undertaking seemingly easy tasks ...BJC Health and Fitness
How does exercise impact inflammation?
By Sarah Comensoli on February 2, 2020
I was recently asked by an old colleague of mine to help out with a podcast discussing exercise and inflammation. My very first podcast :) Despite ...BJC Health and Fitness
Chewing the fat. Is the keto diet the way to go?
By Stephanie Hage on January 27, 2020
Ketosis, bulletproof coffees, keto flu, fat bombs… all buzzwords that you might hear related to the ketogenic (keto) diet. But what exactly is the ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Sore after exercise? Try these recovery tips!
By Rhianne Kerr on January 20, 2020
So you have just gotten back into the swing of things, and have managed to do a great exercise session. Congrats! During and after the session, you ...BJC Health and Fitness
Game changers: is a plant-based diet the key to good health?
By Stephanie Hage on December 19, 2019
Game Changers - it’s the documentary that everyone is talking about. It seems as though one day I woke up, opened my Instagram account and found ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
The Portfolio Diet...Does it help with inflammation?
By Stephanie Hage on October 23, 2019
As a dietitian, the word “diet” is probably my least favourite word. I appreciate that for many, this single word can bring up past memories of ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
By Stephanie Hage on September 19, 2019
The internet can be both your best friend and worst enemy when it comes to finding information about food. If you have a rheumatic disease such as ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Are you realllyy eating well?
By Stephanie Hage on August 23, 2019
What does eating well mean to you? It could be: Keeping your blood test results in check Eating adequate serves of food from each of the food ...BJC Diet and Nutrition
Introducing Rheumatology Republic - Join our community!
By Dr Irwin Lim on March 5, 2019
I’m sorry that I’ve been missing from this blog. I was galvanised to start blogging in late 2010 to try and rectify community attitudes to ...BJC Connected Care
What will my rheumatology consultation look like in the future?
By Dr Irwin Lim on January 22, 2019
Happy New Year! I hope it's been a good one so far. I thought I'd start the year with some crystal ball gazing. I wrote this piece for The ...BJC Connected Care
Seronegative vs Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis
By Dr Irwin Lim on November 6, 2018
It can be quite difficult to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis (RA). People can have different symptoms and yet still be classified as having RA. So, ...BJC Connected Care
Advancing Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
By Dr Irwin Lim on October 30, 2018
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. Luckily, the past decade has brought on a wealth of innovation in arthritis ...BJC Connected Care
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare Ups and How to Manage Them
By Dr Irwin Lim on October 23, 2018
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a disease with many ups and downs. Some days, you may be feeling great and fully mobile—the next day, you’re finding it ...BJC Connected Care