SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyDrug Reaction DataReferences

Information for Patients

View all Images (91)

Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


See also in: Cellulitis DDx,Nail and Distal Digit
Contributors: Abhijeet Waghray MD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Gout is caused by body fluid urate saturation complicated by deposition of monosodium urate crystals in tissues. Elevated uric acid levels can be caused by overproduction of uric acid from purine catabolism or insufficient excretion by the kidneys and are necessary but not sufficient for the development of gout. The deposition of urate crystals in tissues leads to inflammation and subsequent tissue damage. The most common sites involved are the skin and joints. Gout can present as acute gouty arthritis or chronic tophaceous gout. Patients may also develop uric acid nephrolithiasis.

The acute form of gout presents as a painful, swollen, warm, and erythematous joint, usually monoarticular, with the most common joints affected being the first metatarsophalangeal joint, ankle, foot, and knee. The pain can be debilitating. Flares can last days to weeks if untreated and can become more severe and more frequent over time.

Chronic tophaceous gout presents most commonly involving the ear but can also affect other soft tissues, articular structures, bursas, or tendons. Smooth or multilobulated nodules can ulcerate, leading to extrusion of a chalk-like substance. Rarely, urate bullae may develop. In uncontrolled chronic gout, there may be frequent acute attacks that lead to destructive arthritis and joint deformity.

Men aged 40-50 are most commonly affected. Other risk factors include renal insufficiency, obesity, increased alcohol consumption, medications (eg, diuretics), lymphomas, leukemias, tumor lysis syndrome, and hemolysis as well as lead exposure (eg, from illegally distilled liquor, or "moonshine"; known colloquially as "saturnine gout").


M10.9 – Gout, unspecified

90560007 – Gout

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

To perform a comparison, select diagnoses from the classic differential

Subscription Required

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Drug Reaction Data

Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:07/08/2018
Last Updated:06/19/2023
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Patient Information for Gout
Print E-Mail Images (91)
Contributors: Medical staff writer
Premium Feature
VisualDx Patient Handouts
Available in the Elite package
  • Improve treatment compliance
  • Reduce after-hours questions
  • Increase patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Written in clear, easy-to-understand language. No confusing jargon.
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Print out or email directly to your patient
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
See also in: Cellulitis DDx,Nail and Distal Digit
A medical illustration showing key findings of Gout : Ankle pain, Foot pain, Hyperuricemia, Joint swelling, Joint tenderness, Smooth nodule, Toe pain
Clinical image of Gout - imageId=48739. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Erythematous nodule over the lateral distal interphalangeal joint.'
Erythematous nodule over the lateral distal interphalangeal joint.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.