Therapeutic advances in gout

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent developments in the management of gout.

Recent findings

Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gout from EULAR, quality of care indicators, and outcome measures for clinical trials have been published. The standards of gout diagnosis and management are very low. Allopurinol remains the mainstay for serum uric acid lowering therapy. In an important percentage of patients receiving allopurinol, serum uric acid levels are insufficient to promote crystal dissolution. Febuxostat, a new serum uric acid lowering drug, has shown good results. Information on uricase continues to appear. For treatment of gouty inflammation, etoricoxib (a new cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor) has been shown to be as effective as indomethacin. Finally, the association of gout with the metabolic syndrome and its comorbidities, and the newly described association of gout with myocardial infarction, bring lifestyle and dietary modifications to the front in the management of gout.

Summary

Proper gout management requires changes to the physician's attitude towards the disease; essentially: (1) an unequivocal diagnosis based in urate crystal identification, (2) a clearly settled aim of the treatment: crystal elimination from the joints and elsewhere, and (3) proper use of the available therapeutic alternatives. Promoting a proper lifestyle appears to be especially important.

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