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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 23

Skeletal Radiol

Assessing tophaceous spinal gout treatment response using dual-energy CT as a point-of-care imaging modality: case report.


Saffarzadeh M, Haydar SMA, Shojania K, Ouellette H, Nicolaou S, Murray N
Skeletal Radiol. 2022 Dec 23.
PMID: 36562821.


We describe a case of chronic tophaceous gout affecting the spine, hands, elbows, feet, and knees in a 67-year-old man with serum urate levels at 549 µmol/L whose response to treatment was successfully mapped using dual-energy computed tomography (DECT). The patient presented with exacerbation of acute-on-chronic lumbar back pain. He had received a diagnosis of gout 3 years prior to this presentation yet was not on any urate-lowering therapy. The patient received febuxostat 80 mg and colchicine 0.3 mg once daily and underwent DECT to assess baseline monosodium urate (MSU) burden. At baseline, MSU deposits were seen in the hands, elbows, feet, knees, and lumbar spine including the left L5-S1 facet joint encroaching onto the neural foramen. After 2.5 years of treatment, serum urate level was within the target range (< 360 µmol/L), and the patient underwent a follow-up DECT that revealed almost full resolution of MSU deposition in the spine, including the MSU-burdened facet joint and neural foramen in the lumbar spine, in addition to all the affected peripheral joints. This case is the first report of radiological evidence of nearly complete resolution of MSU deposits in spinal gout on DECT after urate-lowering therapy treatment, which demonstrates the utility of this imaging modality as a non-invasive investigational point-of-care imaging modality for mapping treatment response and identifying the etiology of back pain in a patient with chronic tophaceous spinal gout.