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Basic Calcium Phosphate and Calcium Oxalate Crystal Deposition Diseases

by Lawrence M. Ryan, MD

Basic calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate can form crystals that cause joint symptoms similar to those of gout, pseudogout, or sometimes other joint disorders. Basic calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate crystals can also affect tendons and connective tissues. The crystals are sometimes visible on x-rays. Doctors may need to withdraw and test joint fluid for calcium oxalate crystals (which are visible under a microscope) and for disorders such as infectious arthritis, gout, and pseudogout. Basic calcium phosphate crystals themselves are not visible using the microscope that is usually used to identify joint crystals. These disorders are usually treated similarly to pseudogout (see Pseudogout : Treatment), with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine taken by mouth, or a corticosteroid injection into the joint.

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