Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD)
is a build up of
in the joints. These
in the joints, which causes arthritis like conditions known as: PseudoosteoarthritisPseudogoutPseudorheumatoid arthritis
Arthritis of the Knee
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It is not known what causes these calcium pyrophosphates to form. Genetics appear to play a role since it may run in families.
Older adults are at increased risk of getting CPPD. Other factors include: Family members with CPPDPrevious joint damageOsteoarthritisHypothyroidism—an underactive thyroid
Hemochromatosis—excess iron storage
Overactive parathyroid glandsHypercalcemia—excess calcium in the bloodLow magnesium levels in the blood
In most cases, CPPD does not lead to symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may come and go in acute attacks
called flare-ups. They may get worse over 6-24 hours and last for 5-12 days. The frequency of flare-ups may increase with age.
Pseudoosteoarthritis symptoms are the most common type, especially in the knee. Symptoms may be on both sides of the body, but are generally worse on one side. Pseudoosteoarthritis may cause: Joint degeneration that worsens over timeJoint misalignment and deformityPeriodic swelling may be seen in chronic cases
Pseudogout symptoms occur more frequently in the knee, but can occur in other joints as well. There may be periods of time when there are no symptoms. Attacks of pseudogout may be spontaneous, or may be brought on by surgery or illness. Pseudogout may cause: Sudden, intense pain in one jointWarmth, redness, and swellingFeverJoint damage from the breakdown of cartilage, which can lead to chronic pain
Pseudorheumatoid arthritis symptoms occur least frequently and affect both sides of the body. Pseudorheumatoid arthritis may cause: Joint swellingMorning stiffness in the jointsFatigueJoint deformities
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests can be used to diagnose CPPD, or to rule out other conditions.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with: Synovial fluid analysis—taken from the joint with a needleBlood tests
Images may be needed of your bodily structures. This can be done with: X-rayMRI scanUltrasound
There is no cure for CPPD and nothing is available to dissolve the crystal deposits that already exist.
Treatment of CPPD is
managing the discomfort during
flare-ups. Without treatment, the pain and discomfort of CPPD will go away on its own within days to weeks.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Rest, ice, and elevation may help relieve some pain. Other treatment options may include:
Medication may help to decrease
inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Medications may include: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)CorticosteroidsGout
that change the way the body reacts to the crystals, such as colchicine
Additional procedures may be needed if home care and medications are not effective. Additional procedures may include: Corticosteroid shots—injected directly into the affected joint
to decrease inflammationArthrocentesis—to remove excess fluid and crystalsSurgery—to repair or replace any damaged joints
Steroids Injected into Joint
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There are no current guidelines to prevent CPPD because the cause is not clear.
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD) (Pseudogout). The Arthritis Foundation website. Available at:
http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/calcium-pyrophosphate-deposition-disease-cppd. Accessed May 12, 2016.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD) (formerly called pseudogout). American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Calcium-Pyrophosphate-Deposition-CPPD. Updated September 2013. Accessed May 12, 2016.
Pseudogout. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at:
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/diseases-conditions/hic-pseudogout. Accessed May 12, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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