105 consecutive patients who presented to a rheumatologist because of joint disease and who also had evidence of deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPD) were studied clinically and radiologically. There were 76 women (mean age 73) and 29 men (mean age 62). Of only 18 patients below the age of 60 at presentation 12 were men. The majority of the younger male group suffered from acute attacks of synovitis, and had no clinical or radiological evidence of joint damage. In contrast the older female group had widespread destructive changes. Associated joint disease included generalised osteoarthritis (45), rheumatoid arthritis (8), joint hypermobility (13), previous knee surgery (8), and gout 92). Sixteen patients had received long-term steroid therapy. Severe destructive joint changes were seen in 16 patients. The radiological features in those with rheumatoid arthritis by ARA criteria were atypical. The relationship between CPD deposition and arthritis is discussed in the light of these findings.
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