Clinical and ultrasound findings in patients with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease

Paulina Vele, Siao-Pin Simon, Laura Damian, Ioana Felea, Laura Muntean, Ileana Filipescu, Simona Rednic


Aim: To evaluate the presence and distribution of calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) deposits in joints commonly affected by CPP deposition (CPPD) disease (acromio-clavicular, gleno-humeral, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and symphysis pubis joints) using ultrasound (US).

Material and methods: Thirty consecutive patients fulfilling McCarty diagnostic criteria for CPPD were consecutively enrolled in the study. The data registered using the US included the affected joints, the calcification site, and the pattern of calcification (thin hyperechoic bands, parallel to the surface of the hyaline cartilage, hyperechoic spots, and hyperechoic nodular or oval deposits). The presence of CPP crystals in knees was confirmed by polarized light microscopy examination of the synovial fluid and radiographs of the knees were performed in all patients.

Results: In 30 patients, 390 joints were scanned, (13 joints in every patient). The mean±standard deviation number of joints with US CPPD evidence per patient was 2.93±1.8 (range 1-9). The knee was the most common joint involved both clinically and using US examination. The second US pattern (with hyperechoic spots) was the most frequent. Fibrocartilage calcifications were more common than hyaline calcification. Using radiography as reference method, the sensitivity and specificity of US for diagnosis CPPD in knees was 79.31%, 95CI(66.65%-88.83%), and 14.29%, 95CI(1.78%-42.81%), respectively.

Conclusions: The knee is the most frequent joint affected by CPPD. The second ultrasound pattern is the most common. CPPD affects the fibrocartilage to a greater extent than the hyaline cartilage.


calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate; ultrasonography; radiography

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