Contrary to general belief, gout is fairly common in the United States; but it is frequently unrecognized. Most patients with gouty arthritis have their disease for several years and endure a number of attacks before a correct diagnosis is made.1 This is unfortunate because, of the various articular diseases, acute gouty arthritis is one of the most responsive to treatment. Hence the most important point in the treatment of gout and gouty arthritis is its recognition. The diagnosis of gout must therefore be considered in some detail.2
Gout is a disease of unknown etiology characterized chiefly by (1) arthritis, which is at first acute and recurrent, each attack being followed by complete symptomatic remission, but which later tends to become chronic; (2) supposed abnormality in the renal excretion of uric acid, the end product of purine metabolism; (3) hyperuricemia, which is usually transient at first but later generally
HENCH PS. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF GOUT AND GOUTY ARTHRITIS. JAMA. 1941;116(6):453–459. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820060001001
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