Abhishek, Abishek and Doherty, Sally and Maciewicz, Rose and Muir, Kenneth and Zhang, Weiya and Doherty, Michael
Chondrocalcinosis is common in the absence of knee involvement.
Arthritis Research & Therapy, 14
Introduction: We aimed to describe the distribution of radiographic chondrocalcinosis (CC) and to examine
whether metacarpophalangeal joint (MCPJ) calcification and CC at other joints occurs in the absence of knee
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study embedded in the Genetics of Osteoarthritis and Lifestyle study (GOAL).
All participants (n = 3,170) had radiographs of the knees, hands, and pelvis. These were scored for radiographic
changes of osteoarthritis (OA), for CC at knees, hips, symphysis pubis, and wrists, and for MCPJ calcification. The
prevalence of MCPJ calcification and CC overall, at each joint, and in the presence or absence of knee involvement,
Results: The knee was the commonest site of CC, followed by wrists, hips, and symphysis pubis. CC was more
likely to be bilateral at knees and wrists but unilateral at hips. MCPJ calcification was usually bilateral, and less
common than CC at knees, hips, wrists, and symphysis pubis. Unlike that previously reported, CC commonly
occurred without any knee involvement; 44.4% of wrist CC, 45.9% of hip CC, 45.5% of symphysis pubis CC, and
31.3% of MCPJ calcification occurred in patients without knee CC. Those with meniscal or hyaline articular cartilage
CC had comparable ages (P = 0.21), and neither preferentially associated with fibrocartilage CC at distant joints.
Conclusions: CC visualized on a plain radiograph commonly occurs at other joints in the absence of radiographic
knee CC. Therefore, knee radiographs alone are an insufficient screening test for CC. This has significant
implications for clinical practice, for epidemiologic and genetic studies of CC, and for the definition of OA patients
with coexistent crystal deposition.
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