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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Can Ultrasound Aid in the Diagnosis of Gout and Septic Arthritis in the Setting of Monoarticular Joint Pain?

  • Author(s): Kiel, John M;
  • Kaeley, Gurjit
  • et al.

Monoarticular joint pain is commonly encountered in the emergency department (ED) with a broad differential diagnosis. Septic arthritis represents a “can’t miss” diagnosis while gout represents a chronic, painful arthropathy. Traditionally these diagnoses are made with arthrocentesis in addition to history, physical exam, imaging and laboratory studies. Ultrasound (US) represents a novel modality that may aid in the diagnosis of gout without requiring arthrocentesis. Furthermore, the sonographic features of gout may exclude the diagnosis of septic arthritis. Additional research is required in the ED setting to better clarify the role of US in these two disease states.

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