New Diagnostic Method For Gout: Dual Energy Computed Tomography Instead Of Joint Aspiration

The most reliable method of diagnosing gout is to aspirate the joint in order to obtain fluid to verify the presence of monosodium urate crystals (uric acid). Up to now, computed tomography (CT) has played a limited role in the evaluation of gout, since conventional CT systems cannot reliably verify deposits of uric acid. However, a current study at the Vancouver General Hospital in Canada gives rise to speculation that dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) could radically change the diagnosis of this disease. DECT enables fast, noninvasive examinations and, based on initial evaluations, has the potential to surpass the invasive gold standard and clinical examination in terms of reliability. Investigations have confirmed the high sensitivity of the DECT method in detecting uric acid deposits. The Canadian scientists used the SOMATOM Definition computed tomography (CT scanner) from Siemens for their investigation. This system is the only CT scanner worldwide that features two X-ray tubes capable of simultaneously producing different energies.

source: Medical News Today

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