How Would You Manage This Patient With Gout?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.Ann Intern Med 2018; 169(11):788-795AIM
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. In 2012, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) issued a guideline, which was followed in 2017 by one from the American College of Physicians (ACP). The guidelines agree on treating acute gout with a corticosteroid, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or colchicine and on not initiating long-term urate-lowering therapy (ULT) for most patients after a first gout attack and in those whose attacks are infrequent (<2 per year). However, they differ on treatment of both recurrent gout and problematic gout. The ACR advocates a "treat-to-target" approach, and the ACP did not find enough evidence to support this approach and offered an alternative strategy that bases intensity of ULT on the goal of avoiding recurrent gout attacks ("treat-to-avoid-symptoms") with no monitoring of urate levels. They also disagree on the role of a gout-specific diet. Here, a general internist and a rheumatologist discuss these guidelines; they debate how they would manage an acute attack of gout, if and when to initiate ULT, and the goals for ULT. Lastly, they offer specific advice for a patient who is uncertain about whether to begin this therapy.