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Urate crystal deposition is associated with inflammatory markers and carotid artery pathology in patients with intercritical gout: results from the NOR-Gout study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Hilde Berner Hammer
  • Silvia Rollefstad
  • Anne Grete Semb
  • Gro Jensen
  • Lars Fridtjof Karoliussen
  • L Terslev
  • Espen A Haavardsholm
  • Tore K Kvien
  • Till Uhlig
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BACKGROUND: Gout is of unknown reason associated with cardiovascular disease. Ultrasound is sensitive for detecting crystal deposition and plasma calprotectin is a sensitive inflammatory marker. This study explores the associations between crystal deposition, inflammation and carotid artery pathology.

METHOD: A cross-sectional analysis of baseline assessments from the NOR-Gout study was undertaken. Crystal deposition was assessed by ultrasound (double contour, tophi, aggregates) and dual-energy CT (DECT) and laboratory assessments included plasma calprotectin. The carotid arteries were bilaterally examined for carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and presence of plaques. Spearman correlations, Mann-Whitney tests and linear regression analyses were used to explore associations between crystal deposition, inflammatory markers,and carotid pathology.

RESULTS: 202 patients with intercritical gout (95.5% men, mean (SD) age 56.5 (13.8) years, disease duration 7.9 (7.7) years) were included. Calprotectin was correlated with all scores of crystal deposition by ultrasound (r=0.26-0.32, p<0.001) and DECT (r=0.15, p<0.05). cIMT was correlated with sum score aggregates (r=0.18-0.22, p<0.05). Patients with large tophi had higher levels of calprotectin as well as more frequent carotid plaque (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Study findings point towards crystal deposition contributing to subclinical inflammation with subsequent vascular implications. However, future longitudinal studies are needed to confirm such causal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002348
JournalRMD Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

ID: 79685285