Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Features Case Studies Clinical
The X Files – october 2008

October 29, 2008
By Marshall Deltoff


A 62-year-old woman presented with bilateral knee crepitus, swelling and stiffness.
Radiographic examination reveals bilateral chondrocalcinosis. (Figures A and B)

Diagnosis: Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition disease; also known as pseudogout.


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 Figure A  Figure B

Some points to remember about CPPD:

  • inflammatory joint disease resulting from deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate into the synovial fluid; a metabolic disturbance in which there is an  impaired degradation or excessive production of pyrophosphate
  • may be acute (more prevalent in males) or chronic (more prevalent in females)
  • frequently associated with diabetes mellitus
  • features include articular cartilage calcification, with possible periarticular calcification of synovium, articular capsule, tendons, bursae
  • affected hyaline cartilage appears as a fine radiopaque line parallel to the contour of the articular cortex
  • affected fibrocartilage demonstrates a characteristic punctate calcification
  • in the knee, the menisci classically demonstrate calcification
  • joint destruction associated with CPPD is virtually indistinguishable from that of osteoarthritis
  • CPPD also tends to affect the shoulder, elbow, radiocarpal joint, hip, symphysis pubis and patellofemoral joint
  • joint aspiration may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis •

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