Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Deposition Disease

(CPPD; Pseudogout; Chondrocalcinosis)

Definition

Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease (CPPD) is a build up of calcium crystals in the joints. These crystals cause inflammation in the joints, which causes arthritis like conditions known as:
  • Pseudoosteoarthritis
  • Pseudogout
  • Pseudorheumatoid arthritis
Over time the inflammation can cause damage to the tissue inside the joint and lead to pain and chronic disability. CPPD can be managed with medical care.
Arthritis of the Knee
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Causes

It is not known what causes these calcium pyrophosates to form, but genetics appears to play a role.

Risk Factors

Increasing age is the most common factor that may increase your chance of getting CPPD. Other factors include:
  • Family members with CPPD
  • Previous joint damage
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hypothyroidism —an underactive thyroid
  • Hemochromatosis —excess iron storage
  • Overactive parathyroid glands
  • Hypercalcemia—excess calcium in the blood
  • Low magnesium levels in the blood

Symptoms

In most cases, CPPD does not lead to symptoms. Symptoms may come and go in acute attacks called flare-ups.Pseudoosteoarthritis symptoms are the most common type, especially in the knee. Symptoms may be on both sides of the body, but are generally worse on one side. Pseudoosteoarthritis may cause:
  • Joint degeneration that worsens over time
  • Joint misalignment and deformity
  • Periodic swelling may be seen in chronic cases
Pseudogout symptoms occur more frequently in the knee, but can occur in other joints as well. There may be periods of time when there are no symptoms. Attacks of pseudogout may be spontaneous, or may be brought on by surgery, or illness. Pseudogout may cause:
  • Sudden, intense pain in one joint
  • Warmth, redness, and swelling
  • Fever
  • Joint damage from the breakdown of cartilage, which can lead to chronic pain
Pseudorheumatoid arthritis symptoms occur least frequently and affect both sides of the body. Pseudorheumatoid arthritis may cause:
  • Joint swelling
  • Morning stiffness in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Joint deformities

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