Chondrocalcinosis is common in the absence of knee involvementReport as inadecuate

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Arthritis Research and Therapy

, 14:R205

First Online: 04 October 2012Received: 21 May 2012Revised: 11 August 2012Accepted: 04 October 2012


IntroductionWe 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 involvement.

MethodsThis 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, was calculated.

ResultsThe 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.

ConclusionsCC 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.

AbbreviationsANOVAanalysis of variance


CIconfidence interval

CPPcalcium pyrophosphate crystal

CPPDcalcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition

GOALgenetics of osteoarthritis and lifestyle

MCPJmetacarpophalangeal joint

nnumber of participants



SDstandard deviation

TFJtibiofemoral joint.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-ar4043 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Abhishek Abhishek - Sally Doherty - Rose Maciewicz - Kenneth Muir - Weiya Zhang - Michael Doherty


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