The Sound Of Gout Toe Pain
Diagnosis of gout has never been easy. In most cases it starts with toe pain and a swollen big toe, but in many cases it doesn’t.
Where gout goes undetected, problems can build up – unnoticed and untreated.
Recent research includes ultrasound and a number of studies have looked at the effectiveness of ultrasound in diagnosing gout.A recent study comparing ultrasound to conventional x-ray has shown some remarkable findings. Not least of which is the ability of ultrasound to measure effects of gout even when the patient has had no gout pain.
ARD – Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the EULAR journal, has just published a study from Dr Stephen A Wright and others online prior to publication. The objectives of the study, High resolution ultrasonography of the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint in gout ,were:
- Compare high resolution ultrasound (HRUS) with conventional radiography in the detection of big toe damage (erosions in the 1st MTPJs) of patients with gout.
- identify characteristic sonographic features of gout.
The study found that ultrasound could detect tophi in many more cases than with conventional x-ray. Not only that, but out of 22 patients that had not been subject to an acute gout attack, ultrasound detected signs of tophi in 10 patients (compared to 3 with x-ray).
I hope that these techniques can soon become part of regular health screening procedures. Especially for those at risk of gout. Early detection and treatment will surely reduce the chances of serious gout toe pain.