Advances in the management of gout and hyperuricaemia.Scand J Rheumatol. 2006 Jul-Aug; 35(4):251-60.SJ
An acute attack of gouty arthritis is one of the most painful experiences reported throughout medical history. Therefore it is paramount to initiate appropriate therapy quickly in order to terminate the acute phase. This goal can be achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, colchicine, or corticosteroid-based therapies. Rarely, because of contraindications to these agents, only symptomatic treatment can be given until the attack subsides. The next step is to lower the serum urate level below the limit of solubility (i.e., below 40.8 mmol/L, or 6.8mg/dL) which reduces recurrences and begins to return the total body urate pool to normal. This equally important goal can be achieved by uricosuric agents or xanthine oxidase inhibitors, although the latter is generally favored. Allopurinol is the agent most commonly preferred because of its safety profile and ease of use, but there are known serious allergic reactions and untoward side effects that occasionally require discontinuation. Febuxostat, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, and pegylated uricase are new agents under development and may be beneficial in these situations or when other comorbid conditions prevent the use of conventional treatments. Alcohol and dietary consumption are also related to hyperuricemia and acute gout. Recently beer, wine, and liquor were studied and the risk of gout varied according to the alcohol ingested. Furthermore, recent data sheds light on important dietary modifications that may help in the treatment of gout, and dispels certain beliefs about protein ingestion and the occurrence of acute gout. As we learn more about the associated conditions of hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, and the metabolic syndrome, it may allow the tailoring of medical regimens that directly prevent or reduce recurrent attacks of gouty arthritis. There are specific approved treatments for these common comorbidities that have parallel effects of lowering serum urate levels. These recent findings may be especially important for treating refractory cases. While patient education remains a cornerstone to ensure compliance, other quality indicators for the management of this disease have been reported and should guide the clinician in the treatment of gout and result in improved care.