Some historical remarks on microcrystalline arthritis (gout and chondrocalcinosis)
AbstractThe history of microcrystalline arthritis only began in 1961 when Daniel McCarty and Joseph Lee Hollander demonstrated the presence of sodium monourate crystals in the synovial fluid of gouty patients. However, gout is a historical disease, thanks to the descriptions of Hippocrates, Caelius Aurelianus, Soranus of Ephesus and Araeteus of Cappadocia. The relationship between hyperuricemia and gout was first documented in the nineteenth century by Alfred Baring Garrod, who demonstrated deposits of uric acid crystals on a linen thread held dipped in acidified blood (the so-called “thread method”). Gout has always been considered a prerogative of the moneyed classes (arthritis divitum), and history is full of famous gouty personalities, including kings, emperors, popes, commanders, politicians, artists, writers, philosophers and scientists. Another form of microcrystalline arthritis, chondrocalcinosis, was identified as being a rheumatic disorder different from gout in the 1960s. As a specific clinical entity, it was first identified in 1958 by Dušan Žitnˇan and Štefan Sit’aj in a few Slovak families.
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