Dr. Bongartz: Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) is an imaging methods that has been in use for many years to classify the material of renal stones. Our study demonstrates that this technology can be useful in identifying monosodium urate deposits in and around joint, allowing to diagnose patients with gout with overall high sensitivity and specificity. Importantly, a stratified analysis of patient subgroups revealed that DECT is less accurate in diagnosing patients with a first flare of gout, emphasizing the importance of careful patient selection when using this new technology. In a “diagnostic-yield” substudy, we explored the question how much DECT could contribute to correctly diagnose patients where clinicians did have a high level of suspicion for gout, but synovial fluid aspiration results came back negative. In about a third of these patients with negative routine testing, we could confirm a diagnosis of gout through use of DECT.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?