Last Updated: 2007-10-12 15:04:21 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Osteoarthritis may trigger the localized deposition of monosodium urate crystals, according to a report in the October issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Case reports and hospital-based case series have linked the occurrence of gout with the presence of osteoarthritis at the same joints, the authors explain.

This led Dr. Edward Roddy and colleagues from University of Nottingham, UK to investigate whether patients with gout are more likely to have osteoarthritis, and if the same joints are affected.

The researchers sent questionnaires to patients served by two general practices in Nottingham. A total of 164 subjects with confirmed cases of gout were evaluated.

Analysis of more than 5,900 individual joint sites demonstrated a highly significant association between the site of acute attacks of gout and the presence of osteoarthritis, the authors report. The association diminished, but remained significant, with increasing duration of osteoarthritis.

Acute attacks of gout were significantly associated with the presence of osteoarthritis at the first MTP joint, mid-foot, knee, and finger DIP joints after adjusting for confounding variables, Dr. Roddy’s team reports.

"These data support the hypothesis that the presence of osteoarthritis at an individual joint site predisposes to the formation of urate crystals at that site," the investigators conclude.

Ann Rheum Dis 2007;66:1374-1377.