Recommendations of the Czech Society for Rheumatology for the treatment of gouty arthritis

Authors: K. Pavelka
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologický ústav a Klinika revmatologie 1. LF UK, Praha
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 20, 2012, No. 2, p. 82-92.
Category: Recommendation


In the introduction, the author stresses the need for accurate diagnosis of gout. You can use ACR criteria or newly published EULAR diagnostic criteria. In both criteria, there is an absolute diagnosis based on the proof of sodium urate crystals. The need for a crystallographic analysis of all effusions of unknown etiology is emphasized as well. Cessation of a gout attack as soon as possible, normalization of serum levels of uric acid and removal of urate deposits in the body are the principal objectives in the treatment of gout. Furthermore, the associated diseases need to be addressed and the complications of gout prevented. Early anti-inflammatory treatment is of high importance in the treatment of acute inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the drug of choice in uncomplicated gout. Colchicine is used in patients with unclear diagnosis or contraindication to NSAIDs. Even lower dosages of colchicine (0.5 mg 3 times daily) are momentarily recommended, because conventional dosage often leads to adverse effects. A third alternative in the treatment of acute inflammation is the administration of corticosteroids. In cases with mono- or oligoarthritis, intra-articular administration of long-acting corticosteroids is highly recommended. Exclusion of septic arthritis is required. Systemic administration of corticosteroids at an initial dose of 20-50 mg with tapering within two to three weeks is a possible alternative, and is sometimes used especially in forms with polyarticular gout or in cases, where NSAIDs and colchicine cannot be used. However, new attacks occur more frequently after tapering of the dose. Thus, corticosteroids are considered a second-line treatment of gout. During acute inflammation we do not affect hyperuricemia. We initiate the reduction of uricaemia after resolution of acute attacks. Chronic tophaceous gout and radiographically progressive gout are another indication of the correction of hyperuricemia. Non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment can be used in reducing uricaemia. Non-pharmacological methods should be applied for each patient and should include weight reduction, low-purine diet and alcohol abstinence. Uricosuric and uricostatic agents can be used for pharmacological reduction of uricaemia. Uricosuric agents are indicated only in patients without renal disease (lithiasis). Currently, there is no uricosuric agent available on the Czech market. The most used drug for the treatment of hyperuricaemia is the xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol. It is administered at doses of 100-900 mg per day and an individual dose for each patient must be titered. In case of intolerance or lack of efficacy of allopurinol, a non-purine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase, febuxostat, is now available as a second-line treatment of hyperuricaemia. The recommended dose of febuxostat is 80 mg daily. Initiation of an effective hypouricaemic treatment can trigger new attacks, therefore a colchicine prophylaxis for 3-6 months is recommended. For patients with gout often have gout-associated diseases (hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome), these should be monitored and treated in collaboration with a relevant specialist. Pegylated uricase (pegloticase) and monoclonal antibody against IL-1 (canakinumab) are promising new drugs for refractory gout that are currently in the final phase of testing and approval.

Key words:
gouty arthritis, therapy


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