Calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease, or CPPD, is a disorder that causes pain , redness, warmth, and swelling in one or more joints. The EDPC is generated by deposits of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in a joint. These crystals weaken the cartilage, wearing it down more easily. It is also known as pseudogota or chondrocalcinosis.
What is the cause?
The presence of small crystals of calcium pyrophosphate in the joints causes the body to react by means of inflammation to attack them. It is not known why the body forms these crystals, but it can be an abnormality of the cartilage cells or of connective tissue. There may be a genetic tendency to develop the disease.
What are the symptoms?
The movement of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints can create sudden and severe pain in the joints. Inflammation can occur, which is characterized by pain, heat and flushing of the joint. Over time it causes damage to the cartilage (which acts as a shock absorber between the bones), allowing the bones to rub against each other.
How is it diagnosed?
- Detailed medical history
- Removal of joint fluid for crystal detection
- X-rays showing crystals
- Blood tests to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms, such as gout , rheumatoid arthritis or steoarthritis.
The treatments are:
- Aspiration of the joint (to remove the deposits)
- Surgery (sometimes)
- NSAIDs + COX-2 inhibitors
- Corticosteroids (or glucocorticoids)
Who is at risk?
It is not known for sure, but there may be a genetic tendency to develop the disease.