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Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disorder

Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disorder (CPPD) is characterised by deposition of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in and around the joints and tendons. It most commonly affects the knees, wrists, and hips. Tendons may become calcified overtime reducing mobility.

CPPD and gout are similar in that both are caused by crystals in musculoskeletal tissues which from time to time can provoke severe acute inflammation or less commonly chronic inflammation. This causes severe pain, redness, and swelling. When this happens in CPPD, it may be referred to as pseudogout because is is similar to an attack of gout. Gout can be reversed however this is not the case for CPPD.

Osteoarthritis or trauma to a joint is the most common cause of CPPD however metabolic conditions such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, haemochromatosis etc. may precipitate CPPD. It is not believed that calcium supplements cause the disease or make it worse.

CPPD is best diagnosed by plain film X ray of an affected joint / tendon or by synovial fluid analysis obtained from an affected joint.

CPPD typically affects men and women over the age of 50.