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New Gout Guidelines for Patients and Physicians

  • Synopsis: Published: 2012-09-29 - New guidelines that educate patients in effective methods to prevent gout attacks and provide physicians with recommended therapies for long-term management. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Wiley.
Gout
Gout - Other terms include: Gouty arthritis - acute; Gout - acute; Hyperuricemia; Tophaceous gout; Tophi; Podagra; Gout - chronic; Chronic gout; Acute gout; Acute gouty arthritis. Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation. Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid in your body. The exact cause is unknown. Gout may run in families. It is more common in men, in women after menopause, and those who drink alcohol. People who take certain medicines, such as hydrochlorothiazide and other water pills, may have higher levels of uric acid in the blood.

Main Document

Gout is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis, affecting nearly 4% of adult Americans. Newly approved guidelines that educate patients in effective methods to prevent gout attacks and provide physicians with recommended therapies for long-term management of this painful disease are published in Arthritis Care & Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Uric acid is produced by the metabolism of purines, which are found in foods and human tissue. When uric acid levels increase, crystals can form and deposit in joints, causing excruciating pain and swelling typical of an acute gout flare. Doctor-diagnosed gout has risen over the past 20 years and now affects 8.3 million individuals in the U.S., according to a July 2011 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism. Medical evidence suggests that the increased prevalence of elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) and gout may be attributed to such factors as hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and the extensive treatment with thiazide and loop diuretics for cardiovascular disease.

"Acute gout attacks can be debilitating and adversely affect patients' quality of life," says lead investigator John D. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, Acting Rheumatology Division Chief at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). "In order to improve patient care, the ACR funded this collaborative effort among U.S. researchers to produce guidelines, outlining pharmacological therapies and non-drug treatments to manage gout."

Dr. Fitzgerald and fellow co-leaders Drs. Robert Terkeltaub (senior and corresponding author, from the VA and UCSD system), Dinesh Khanna and Puja P. Khanna (from the University of Michigan and VA system) reviewed medical literature from the 1950s to the present. A task force panel including seven rheumatologists, two primary care physicians, a nephrologist, and a patient representative then ranked and voted upon recommendations to create the two-part ACR gout guidelines.

Part I guidelines focus on the systematic non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic therapeutic approaches to hyperuricemia and include:

  • Educating patients on diet, lifestyle choices, treatment objectives, and management of concomitant diseases; this includes recommendations on specific dietary items to encourage, limit, and avoid.
  • Treating patients with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (XOI), such as allopurinol (Zyloprim), as first-line pharmacologic urate-lowering therapy approach.
  • Recommending that patients' urate levels be lowered to less than 6 mg/dL, at a minimum, to improve gout symptoms.
  • Suggesting that the initial dose of allopurinol be no greater than 100 mg/day, and less for patients with chronic kidney disease; followed by gradual increase of the maintenance dose, which can exceed 300 mg even in those with chronic kidney disease.
  • Consideration of HLA-B*5801 pre-screening of patients at particularly high risk for severe adverse reaction to allopurinol (e.g., Koreans with stage 3 or worse kidney disease, and all those of Han Chinese and Thai descent).
  • Prescribing combination therapy, with one XOI and one uriocosuric agent, when target urate levels are not achieved; pegloticase in patients with severe gout disease who to not respond to standard, appropriately dosed ULT therapy.

Part II guidelines cover therapy and prophylactic anti-inflammatory treatment for acute gouty arthritis. These guidelines recommend that physicians:

  • Initiate pharmacologic therapy within 24 hours of onset of acute gouty arthritis attack.
  • Continue ULT therapy, without interruption, during acute gout flares.
  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or oral colchicine as first-line treatment for acute gout, and combinations of these medications for severe or unresponsive cases.
  • Utilize oral colchicine or low-dose NSAIDs as the first-line therapy options to prevent gout attacks when initiating ULT, as long as there is no medical contraindication or lack of tolerance.

Dr. Fitzgerald concludes, "The ACR gout guidelines are designed to emphasize safety, quality of therapy, and to reflect best practice based upon medical evidence available at this time. Our goal is that these guidelines, along with educating gout patients in effective treatment, will improve adherence, quality of care and management of this painful and potentially chronically debilitating condition."

These studies are published in Arthritis Care & Research.

Full citations: "2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout Part I: Systematic Non-pharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapeutic Approaches to Hyperuricemia." Dinesh Khanna, John D. FitzGerald, Puja P. Khanna, Sangmee Bae, Manjit Singh, Tuhina Neogi, Michael H. Pillinger, Joan Merill, Susan Lee, Shraddha Prakash, Marian Kaldas, Maneesh Gogia, Fernando Perez-Ruiz, Will Taylor, Frederic Liote, Hyon Choi, Jasvinder A. Singh,Nicola Dalbeth, Sanford Kaplan, Vandana Niyyar, Danielle Jones, Steven A. Yarows, Blake Roessler, Gail Kerr, Charles King, Gerald Levy, Daniel E. Furst, N. Lawrence Edwards, Brian Mandell, H. Ralph Schumacher, Mark Robbins, Neil Wenger, Robert Terkeltaub. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: September 28, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.21772).

"2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for Management of Gout Part II: Therapy and Anti-inflammatory Prophylaxis of Acute Gouty Arthritis." Dinesh Khanna, Puja P. Khanna, John D. FitzGerald, Manjit K. Singh, Sangmee Bae, Tuhina Neogi, Michael H. Pillinger, Joan Merill, Susan Lee, Shraddha Prakash, Marian Kaldas, Maneesh Gogia, Fernando Perez-Ruiz, Will Taylor, Frederic Liote, Hyon Choi, Jasvinder A. Singh, Nicola Dalbeth, Sanford Kaplan, Vandana Niyyar, Danielle Jones, Steven A. Yarows, Blake Roessler, Gail Kerr, Charles King, Gerald Levy, Daniel E. Furst, N. Lawrence Edwards, Brian Mandell, H. Ralph Schumacher, Mark Robbins, Neil Wenger, Robert Terkeltaub. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: September 28, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.21773).

Arthritis Care & Research is an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the College. Arthritis Care & Research is a peer-reviewed research publication that publishes both original research and review articles that promote excellence in the clinical practice of rheumatology. Relevant to the care of individuals with arthritis and related disorders, major topics are evidence-based practice studies, clinical problems, practice guidelines, health care economics, health care policy, educational, social, and public health issues, and future trends in rheumatology practice. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). For more information, please visit wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/acr.

About Wiley: Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.



Related Information:

  1. What is Gout - Gout is a condition often mentioned in literature and historical records. Described as a painful inflammation of the limbs, especially the big toe, gout develops as a result of the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. Some people are more prone to it based on family history.
  2. Pain Relief for Gout - A list of remedies you can try for immediate pain relief of gout.
  3. Gout Diet - The gout diet should consist of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, organic sourdough breads, organic sugarless cereals, ground flaxseed meal, virgin olive oil for your salads, and as much filtered water as you can manage to drink..


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