Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Gout at a University Hospital Emergency Department
Naomi Schlesinger*, 1, Diane C Radvanski 1, Tina C Young 2, Jonathan V McCoy 3, Robert Eisenstein 3, Dirk F Moore 2
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2015
First Page: 21
Last Page: 26
Publisher ID: TORJ-9-21
Article History:Received Date: 27/2/2015
Revision Received Date: 30/4/2015
Acceptance Date: 4/5/2015
Electronic publication date: 12/6/2015
Collection year: 2015
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Acute gout attacks account for a substantial number of visits to the emergency department (ED). Our aim was to evaluate acute gout diagnosis and treatment at a University Hospital ED.
Our study was a retrospective chart review of consecutive patients with a diagnosis of acute gout seen in the ED 1/01/2004 - 12/31/2010. We documented: demographics, clinical characteristics, medications given, diagnostic tests, consultations and whether patients were hospitalized. Descriptive and summary statistics were performed on all variables.
We found 541 unique ED visit records of patients whose discharge diagnosis was acute gout over a 7 year period. 0.13% of ED visits were due to acute gout. The mean patient age was 54; 79% were men. For 118 (22%) this was their first attack. Attack duration was ≤ 3 days in 75%. Lower extremity joints were most commonly affected. Arthrocentesis was performed in 42 (8%) of acute gout ED visits.
During 355 (66%) of ED visits, medications were given in the ED and/or prescribed. An anti-inflammatory drug was given during the ED visit during 239 (44%) visits. Medications given during the ED visit included: NSAIDs: 198 (56%): opiates 190 (54%); colchicine 32 (9%) and prednisone 32 (9%). During 154 (28%) visits an anti-inflammatory drug was prescribed. Thirty two (6%) were given no medications during the ED visit nor did they receive a prescription. Acute gout rarely (5%) led to hospitalizations.
The diagnosis of acute gout in the ED is commonly clinical and not crystal proven. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the mainstay of treatment in acute gout; yet, during more than 50% of ED visits, anti-inflammatory drugs were not given during the visit. Thus, improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of acute gout in the ED may be required.