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Basic Calcium Phosphate Crystal Deposition Disease

By

Sarah F. Keller

, MD, MA, Cleveland Clinic, Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases

Medically Reviewed Nov 2022
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Basic calcium phosphate is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the body. This compound can form crystals that cause joint pain and swelling similar to those of gout Gout Gout is a disorder in which deposits of uric acid crystals accumulate in the joints because of high blood levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia). The accumulations of crystals cause flares (attacks)... read more Gout (including podagra), calcium pyrophosphate arthritis Calcium Pyrophosphate (CPP) Arthritis Calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) arthritis (previously called pseudogout) is a disorder caused by deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in the joint cartilage, leading to intermittent... read more (previously called pseudogout), or sometimes other joint disorders. Basic calcium phosphate crystals can also form in tendons and connective tissues.

Milwaukee shoulder/knee syndrome is one example of basic calcium phosphate crystal deposition disease. It is a destructive disorder that mostly affects the shoulders and often the knees, with marked and persistent joint swelling, in older women.

Acute pseudopodagra is another joint disorder caused by basic calcium phosphate crystals and can mimic gout. It affects the joints of the big toe and occurs in young women (less often young men).

Symptoms

Basic calcium phosphate crystals cause pain and severe inflammation in and around joints. The crystals occasionally destroy the joints.

Diagnosis

  • X-rays

  • Microscopic examination of joint fluid

To check for basic calcium phosphate crystals, doctors take x-rays X-rays A doctor can often diagnose a musculoskeletal disorder based on the history and the results of a physical examination. Laboratory tests, imaging tests, or other diagnostic procedures are sometimes... read more X-rays . These crystals are sometimes visible on x-rays around the joints, and not usually in the joint cartilage.

Doctors may also need to use a needle to withdraw joint fluid (joint aspiration Joint aspiration (arthrocentesis) A doctor can often diagnose a musculoskeletal disorder based on the history and the results of a physical examination. Laboratory tests, imaging tests, or other diagnostic procedures are sometimes... read more Joint aspiration (arthrocentesis) ) and test it for crystals. Basic calcium phosphate crystals are small and usually can be seen only with a special stain or a transmission electron microscope.

Treatment

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
ColciGel, Colcrys , GLOPERBA, MITIGARE
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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