Currently there are five clinical classification criteria for gout but none have been adequately validated. The new classification criteria emphasize the important disease features helpful in classifying patient symptoms due to gout. Highlights include:

  • The entry criterion for the new classification criteria requires the occurrence of at least one episode of peripheral joint or bursal swelling, pain, or tenderness.
  • The presence of monosodium urate crystals in a symptomatic joint/bursa or in a tophus are a sufficient criterion for classification of the subject as having gout; further scoring is not required.
  • The domains of the new classification criteria include: clinical (pattern of joint/bursa involvement, characteristics and time of course of symptomatic episodes), laboratory (serum urate, monosodium urate crystal-negative synovial fluid aspirate), and imaging (double-contour sign on ultrasound or urate on dual-energy computed tomography, radiographic gout-related erosion).
  • The sensitivity and specificity of the criteria are high (92% and 89%, respectively).

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