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1.  Febuxostat: the evidence for its use in the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout 
Core evidence  2010;4:25-36.
Gout is a common and disabling cause of arthritis in middle-aged and elderly populations, with its main predisposing factor being hyperuricemia (serum urate > 6.8 mg/dL). Options for treatment of chronic gout until 2008 were allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, and the group of drugs known as uricosurics that stimulate the renal excretion of uric acid. A proportion of patients, including some with chronic kidney disease and solid organ transplantations, could not be treated with the those therapies because of intolerance, drug interactions, or adverse events. Febuxostat is a nonpurine xanthine oxidase inhibitor, recently approved in Europe and the United States for the treatment of chronic gout.
To review the clinical evidence (phase II and III studies) of the effectiveness and safety of febuxostat for treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.
Evidence review:
Febuxostat, at doses ranging from 40 to 240 mg/day, is efficacious in reducing serum urate in patients with hyperuricemia and gout, comparing favorably with fixed doses of allopurinol in that respect. Early safety signals with respect to liver test abnormalities and cardiovascular outcomes have not been confirmed in recent large prospective trials but need to be further monitored.
Clinical potential:
Given its low cost and extensive clinical experience, allopurinol will likely remain the first-line drug for management of hyperuricemia and gout. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, those with very high serum urate levels, or in the presence of refractory tophi.
PMCID: PMC2899777  PMID: 20694062
febuxostat; gout; hyperuricemia; evidence
2.  Developments in the scientific and clinical understanding of gout 
Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the elderly. In the last two decades, both hyperuricemia and gout have increased markedly and similar trends in the epidemiology of the metabolic syndrome have been observed. Recent studies provide new insights into the transporters that handle uric acid in the kidney as well as possible links between these transporters, hyperuricemia, and hypertension. The treatment of established hyperuricemia has also seen new developments. Febuxostat and PEG-uricase are two novel treatments that have been evaluated and shown to be highly effective in the management of hyperuricemia, thus enlarging the therapeutic options available to lower uric acid levels. Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals are potent inducers of inflammation. Within the joint, they trigger a local inflammatory reaction, neutrophil recruitment, and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as other inflammatory mediators. Experimentally, the uptake of MSU crystals by monocytes involves interactions with components of the innate immune system, namely Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2, TLR-4, and CD14. Intracellularly, MSU crystals activate multiple processes that lead to the formation of the NALP-3 (NACHT, LRR, and pyrin domain-containing-3) inflammasome complex that in turn processes pro-interleukin (IL)-1 to yield mature IL-1β, which is then secreted. The inflammatory effects of MSU are IL-1-dependent and can be blocked by IL-1 inhibitors. These advances in the understanding of hyperuricemia and gout provide new therapeutic targets for the future.
PMCID: PMC2592794  PMID: 18947374
3.  The Emerging Role of Biotechnological Drugs in the Treatment of Gout 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:264859.
One of the most important therapeutic advances obtained in the field of rheumatology is the availability of the so-called bio(techno)logical drugs, which have deeply changed treatment perspectives in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. According to the steadily increasing attention on gout, due to well-established prognostic and epidemiology implications, in the last 5 years, the same change of perspective has been observed also for this disease. In fact, several bio(techno)logical agents have been investigated both for the management of the articular gout symptoms, targeting mainly interleukin-1β, as well as urate-lowering therapies such as recombinant uricases. Among the IL-1β inhibitors, the majority of studies involve drugs such as anakinra, canakinumab, and rilonacept, but other compounds are under development. Moreover, other potential targets have been suggested, as, for example, the TNF alpha and IL-6, even if data obtained are less robust than those of IL-1β inhibitors. Regarding urate-lowering therapies, the recombinant uricases pegloticase and rasburicase clearly showed their effectiveness in gout patients. Also in this case, new compounds are under development. The aim of this review is to focus on the various aspects of different bio(techno)logical drugs in gouty patients.
PMCID: PMC4009249  PMID: 24839602
4.  The effect of febuxostat to prevent a further reduction in renal function of patients with hyperuricemia who have never had gout and are complicated by chronic kidney disease stage 3: study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled study 
Trials  2014;15:26.
Hyperuricemia is a risk factor for the onset of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is significantly associated with the progression of CKD. However, there is no sufficient evidence by interventional research supporting a cause-effect relationship. Hyperuricemic patients without gouty arthritis, whose serum urate (SUA) concentration is ≥8.0 mg/dL and who have a complication, are treated by pharmacotherapy in addition to lifestyle guidance. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that rationalizes pharmacotherapy for patients with hyperuricemia who have no complication and whose SUA concentration is below 9.0 mg/dL.
The FEATHER (FEbuxostat versus placebo rAndomized controlled Trial regarding reduced renal function in patients with Hyperuricemia complicated by chRonic kidney disease stage 3) study is a prospective, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of febuxostat—a novel, nonpurine, selective, xanthine oxidase inhibitor. The present study will enroll, at 64 medical institutions in Japan, 400 Japanese patients aged 20 years or older who have hyperuricemia without gouty arthritis, who present CKD stage 3, and whose SUA concentration is 7.1-10.0 mg/dL. Patients are randomly assigned to either the febuxostat or the control group, in which febuxostat tablets and placebo are administered orally, respectively. The dosage of the study drugs should be one 10-mg tablet/day at weeks 1 to 4 after study initiation, increased to one 20-mg tablet/day at weeks 5 to 8, and elevated to one 40-mg tablet/day at week 9 and then maintained until week 108. The primary endpoint is estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) slope. The secondary endpoints include the amount and percent rate of change in eGFR from baseline to week 108, the amount and percent rate of change in SUA concentration from baseline to week 108, the proportion of patients who achieved an SUA concentration ≤6.0 mg/dL, and the incidence of renal function deterioration.
The present study aims to examine whether febuxostat prevents a further reduction in renal function as assessed with eGFR in subjects and will (1) provide evidence to indicate the inverse association between a reduction in SUA concentration and an improvement in renal function and (2) rationalize pharmacotherapy for subjects and clarify its clinical relevance.
Trial registration
UMIN Identifier: UMIN000008343
PMCID: PMC3899617  PMID: 24433285
Xanthine oxidase inhibitor; Urate-lowering therapy; Reduced renal function; Hyperuricemia; Chronic kidney disease; Randomized controlled study; Placebo
5.  Hyperuricemia and untreated gout are poor prognostic markers among those with a recent acute myocardial infarction 
Patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) are often at risk for complications, including subsequent MI and death. Use of prognostic markers may aid in preventing these poor outcomes. Hyperuricemia is associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or mortality; however, it is unknown if serum urate (sUA) levels predict outcomes in patients with previous MI. The purpose of this study was to assess hyperuricemia as a biomarker of CHD outcomes in such patients.
These were post hoc analyses of datasets from the Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study, a 1:1 randomized, double-blind clinical trial, conducted from 1975 to 1979, that examined mortality rates following daily aspirin administration over three years in individuals with documented MI. The primary outcome measures were all-cause death, CHD mortality, coronary incidence, and stroke by quartile of baseline sUA. A sub-analysis of all outcome measures in the presence or absence of gouty arthritis was also performed.
Of 4,524 enrolled participants, data on 4,352 were analyzed here. All outcomes were greatest for patients in the fourth sUA quartile. In multivariate regression models, the hazard ratios (HR) for patients in the highest quartile were 1.88 for all-cause mortality (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.45 to 2.46), 1.99 for CHD mortality (95% CI, 1.49 to 2.66), and 1.36 for coronary incidence (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.70). Participants with untreated gout had an adjusted hazard ratio ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 (all P < 0.01) for these outcomes. Participants with gout who were receiving treatment did not exhibit this additional risk.
sUA and untreated gout may be independent prognostic markers for poor all-cause and CHD mortality in patients with recent acute MI.
PMCID: PMC3392798  PMID: 22251426
6.  Improvement in the management of gout is vital and overdue: an audit from a UK primary care medical practice 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:170.
Gout is estimated to affect 1.4% of adults in the UK. Appropriate and timely management is essential to reduce the risk of further flares, complications, and to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The British Society for Rheumatology and British Health Professionals in Rheumatology (BSR/BHPR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) have published guidance regarding the management of gout, thereby providing standards against which performance can be measured. This audit was designed to assess the extent to which patients diagnosed with gout in one primary care medical practice in North Staffordshire, UK, are managed in accordance with current best practice guidelines, and to identify strategies for improvement where appropriate.
Audit criteria were derived from the EULAR and BSR/BHPR guidelines; standards were set arbitrarily, but with consideration of patient comorbidity and other factors which may influence concordance. An electronic search of the practice records was performed to identify adults with a diagnosis of gout. Medical record review with a descriptive analysis was undertaken to assess the extent to which medical management adhered to the predefined standards.
Of the total ≥18 year-old practice population (n = 8686), 305 (3%) patient records included a diagnosis of gout. Of these, 74% (n = 226) had an electronic record of serum uric acid (SUA), and 11% (n = 34) and 53% (n = 162) a measure of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ever and serum glucose since diagnosis respectively. 34% (n = 105) of patients had ever taken urate-lowering therapy with 25% (n = 77) currently prescribed this at the time of data extraction. Dose adjustment and monitoring of treatment according to SUA was found to be inadequate. Provision of lifestyle advice and consideration of comorbidities was also lacking.
The primary care management of gout in this practice was not concordant with national and international guidance, a finding consistent with previous studies. This demonstrates that the provision of guidelines alone is not sufficient to improve the quality of gout management and we identify possible strategies to increase guideline adherence.
PMCID: PMC3830984  PMID: 24225170
Gout; Management; Audit; Primary care; Allopurinol; Serum uric acid
7.  A Review of Uric Acid, Crystal Deposition Disease, and Gout 
Advances in Therapy  2014;32:31-41.
There has been increased interest in gout in both academic and clinical practice settings. Several reasons may explain this. The prevalence of both hyperuricemia and gout has risen in the last decades in developed countries and therefore the burden of gout has increased. The association of hyperuricemia and gout with cardiovascular outcomes and the opportunity of further benefits of intervention on hyperuricemia have been recently highlighted in the literature. Imaging techniques have proven to be useful for detection of urate deposition, even prior to the first clinical symptoms, enabling the evaluation of the extent of deposition and providing objective measurement of crystal depletion during urate-lowering treatment. Treating to target is increasingly used as the approach to treatment of diverse diseases. Therefore, different targets have been recommended for different stages of the burden of disease and for different stages of treatment. The final strategic target, to which any effort should be taken into consideration, is to completely dissolve urate crystals in tissues and therefore avoid further symptoms and structural damage of involved musculoskeletal structures. In summary, evidence suggest that an early approach to the treatment of gout and associated comorbidities is advisable, that new imaging techniques may help to evaluate both the burden of deposition and response to urate-lowering treatment in selected patients, and finally that the final strategic objective of healthcare for patients with gout is to completely resolve urate crystal deposits.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12325-014-0175-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4311063  PMID: 25533440
Crystal deposition disease; Gout; Hyperuricemia; Uric acid
8.  Impaired response or insufficient dosage? – examining the potential causes of ”inadequate response” to allopurinol in the treatment of gout 
Gout is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is well established that urate lowering therapy that aims for a serum urate less than at least 0.36mmol/l (6mg/dL) is required for successful management of gout. Allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitor is the most commonly used urate lowering therapy. However, many patients fail to achieve the target serum urate on allopurinol, these patients can be considered to have “inadequate response” to allopurinol. Herein we examine the potential mechanisms and implications of inadequate response to allopurinol.
The literature was reviewed for potential causes for failure to reach target serum urate in patients receiving allopurinol.
The two most common causes of inadequate response to allopurinol are poor adherence and under-dosing of allopurinol. Adherent patients who fail to achieve target serum urate on standard doses of allopurinol form a group that could be considered to be “partially resistant” to allopurinol. There are four potential mechanisms for partial allopurinol resistance: decreased conversion of allopurinol to oxypurinol; increased renal excretion of oxypurinol; abnormality in XO structure and or function such that oxypurinol is rendered less effective, and/or drug interactions.
It is important to determine the reasons for failure to achieve treatment targets with allopurinol, particularly as newer agents become available. The knowledge of the mechanisms for inadequate response may help guide the clinician toward making a therapeutic choice that is more likely to result in achieving the serum urate target.
PMCID: PMC4225179  PMID: 24925693
9.  Current Concepts of Hyperuricemia and Gout 
California Medicine  1969;110(3):231-243.
Recent studies have confirmed that gout is an inborn error of metabolism. It has now become evident that the hyperuricemia associated with gout might occur either due to overproduction of uric acid, underexcretion of uric acid or a combination of these processes. Furthermore, patients with excessive purine synthesis may have a specific enzyme defect resulting in altered feedback inhibition of purine synthesis. A neurological disease manifest by mental retardation, choreo-athetosis, aggressive behavior, lip-biting and self-mutilation and associated with decidedly increased purine biosynthesis serves as a prototype of this kind of disorder. Other defects in regulation of purine biosynthesis have been postulated but their existence not yet confirmed.
It has been demonstrated that urate crystals which are deposited from hyperuricemic body fluids set up an acute inflammatory reaction by means of a variety of chemical mediators. Thus, acute gouty arthritis is now recognized as an example of “crystal induced” synovitis.
The treatment of gout consists of (1) the control of acute gouty attacks, and (2) the maintenance of normal serum uric acid concentrations. This latter may be achieved either with uricosuric drugs or with xanthine oxidase inhibition. With these principles in mind, it is now possible to avoid many of the severe crippling effects of gout and to restore the vast majority of gouty patients to useful and productive lives.
PMCID: PMC1503450  PMID: 5773483
10.  Reassessing serum urate targets in the management of refractory gout: Can you go too low? 
Current opinion in rheumatology  2009;21(2):138-142.
Purpose of review
Growing awareness of patients with refractory gout is prompting a reassessment of treatment strategy. This article reviews the current practice of targeting serum urate concentrations (sUA) in the mid-normal range (roughly 4–6 mg/dL), and considers the rationale for more aggressively lowering sUA in patients with poorly controlled chronic gout. Some hypothetical concerns with inducing hypouricemia are considered, and relevant clinical evidence is evaluated.
Recent findings
Recent studies confirm the benefits of modestly reducing sUA in many gout patients. However, tophi and tissue stores of monosodium urate crystals resolve slowly, particularly in patients with longstanding disease. Consistent with physicochemical principles, the rate of decrease in tophus size increases with a reduction in sUA concentration over a broad range. Reducing sUA to near or below 2 mg/dL can be achieved in some patients with current urate lowering drugs, but new drugs now under investigation may be more effective. As a free radical scavenger, uric acid has been postulated to protect from oxidative stress. However, inherited disorders associated with profound, lifelong hypouricemia indicate that maintaining sUA near or below 2 mg/dL would probably be safe.
Targeting low sUA could improve the elimination of tissue urate stores and achieve better control of disease in patients with refractory gout.
PMCID: PMC2920449  PMID: 19339924
Gout; tophus; hypouricemia; pegloticase; febuxostat
11.  Long-term therapy for chronic gout results in clinically important improvements in the health-related quality of life: short form-36 is responsive to change in chronic gout 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2010;50(4):740-745.
Objective. Short Form-36 (SF-36) is a validated outcome measure to assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with gout. We assessed responsiveness to change of SF-36 in patients with gout.
Methods. SF-36 was administered at baseline and at yearly intervals. We assessed the minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) at the first and second year. We also assessed the responsiveness to change (effect size) and interpreted it based on Cohen’s criteria. We modelled the improvement (defined as ≥MCID) in SF-36 scales and summary scores. Covariates included age, presence of tophi, comorbidities, baseline joint involvement, baseline serum urate, change in serum urate and the number of flares from baseline to 12 months.
Results. Of 99 subjects, 96 were male, mean age was 57.1 years, disease duration was 8.2 years and 40.4% had tophi. Ninety-two patients were treated with urate-lowering therapy (ULT) and daily colchicine, and seven were only on colchicine. Baseline mean serum urate level was 8.9 mg/dl and mean number of flares was 4.7 over last year. ULTs were associated with reduction in serum uric acid and number of flares (P < 0.001 for both) over 12 months. Therapy was associated with 22–70% of the patients achieving MCID in SF-36 scores at 12 months. Effect size estimates ranged from negligible to large (SF-36 mental component summary 0.08–bodily pain 1.09). Reduction in flares independently predicted improvements in three SF-36 physical scales (P = 0.001–0.06). Improvement in SF-36 scores was maintained at 2 years.
Conclusion. In our real-life observational cohort, chronic urate lowering therapy and colchicine was associated with clinically meaningful improvements in HRQOL at 1 year and then maintained at 2 years. SF-36, especially physical domains and physical component summary, are responsive to change in gout.
PMCID: PMC3060621  PMID: 21147824
Gout; Health-related quality of life; Quality of life; Flares; Urate-lowering therapy; Minimal clinically important differences; Minimally important differences; Short Form-36, Gout prophylaxis
12.  Concordance of the management of chronic gout in a UK primary‐care population with the EULAR gout recommendations 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(10):1311-1315.
To assess concordance of the management of chronic gout in UK primary care with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) gout recommendations.
A postal questionnaire was sent to all adults aged >30 years registered with two general practices. Patients with possible gout attended for clinical assessment, at which the diagnosis was verified clinically. Aspects of chronic gout management, including provision of lifestyle modification advice, use of urate‐lowering therapies (ULT) including dose titration to serum urate (SUA) level, prophylaxis against acute attacks, and diuretic cessation were assessed in accordance with the EULAR recommendations.
Of 4249 (32%) completed questionnaires returned, 488 reported gout or acute attacks and were invited for clinical assessment. Of 359 attendees, 164 clinically confirmed cases of gout were identified. Advice regarding alcohol consumption was recalled by 59 (41%), weight loss by 36 (25%) and diet by 42 (29%). Allopurinol was the only ULT used and was taken by 44 (30%); 31 (70%) were taking 300 mg daily. Mean SUA was lower in allopurinol users than non‐users (318 vs 434 μmol/l) and was less often >360 μmol/l in allopurinol users (23% vs 75%). Eight patients had recently commenced allopurinol; two of these also were taking prophylactic colchicine or non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs. Of 25 patients with diuretic‐induced gout, 16 (64%) were still taking a diuretic.
Treatment of chronic gout is often suboptimal and poorly concordant with EULAR recommendations. Lifestyle advice is infrequently offered, and allopurinol is restricted to a minority. Persistent hyperuricaemia was often seen in allopurinol non‐users, but was also in allopurinol users, suggesting that doses >300 mg are often necessary.
PMCID: PMC1994300  PMID: 17504843
gout; primary health care; lifestyle risk reduction; allopurinol; EULAR recommendations
13.  Management of hyperuricemia in gout: focus on febuxostat 
Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in an elderly population, and can be diagnosed with absolute certainty by polarization microscopy. However, diagnosis may be challenging because atypical presentations are more common in the elderly. Management of hyperuricemia in the elderly with gout requires special consideration because of co-medication, contra-indications, and risk of adverse reactions. Urate-lowering agents include allopurinol and uricosuric agents. These also must be used sensibly in the elderly, especially when renal function impairment is present. However, if used at the lowest dose that maintains the serum urate level below 5.0 to 6.0 mg/dL (0.30 to 0.36 mmol/L), the excess urate in the body will eventually be eliminated, acute flares will no longer occur, and tophi will resolve. Febuxostat, a new xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is welcomed, as few alternatives for allopurinol are available. Its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are not significantly altered in patients with moderate renal function or hepatic impairment. Its antihyperuricemic efficacy at 80 to 120 mg/day is better than “standard dosage” allopurinol (300 mg/day). Long-term safety data and efficacy data on tophus diminishment and reduction of gout flares have recently become available. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, or refractory to allopurinol.
PMCID: PMC2817937  PMID: 20169038
aging; febuxostat; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; xanthine oxidase
14.  Advances in the management of gout: Critical appraisal of febuxostat in the control of hyperuricemia 
Gout recently passed rheumatoid arthritis to become the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States (US). However, epidemiologic studies indicate that the quality of gout management is suboptimal owing to both patient and physician issues. Only three options for urate-lowering therapy are currently available in the US: allopurinol, probenecid, and recently, febuxostat. Probenecid is generally safe except for the occurrence of urolithiasis, but is only effective for the subset of patients with better kidney function. Allopurinol use is limited due to its side effects, potential toxicity of uncertain magnitude in patients with renal disease, and failure to achieve targeted serum urate levels. In part this failure may be due to the necessity for it to be titrated for optimal therapeutic effect. Febuxostat is a new medication that may offer several advantages and can be given as an alternative to allopurinol. We review the basic biology and clinical performance of febuxostat, and consider the potential utility of this agent in comparison to the older, better-established gout therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3108781  PMID: 21694922
allopurinol; gout suppressants; nephrolithiasis; uric acid; urolithiasis
15.  Patients and providers view gout differently: a qualitative study 
Chronic illness  2010;6(4):263-271.
We sought to examine patients’ and providers’ views on the treatment of gout to better understand why management is suboptimal.
In-depth telephone interviews were conducted with gout patients (n=26) who initiated treatment with a urate-lowering drug (ULD) in the prior 6 months and with providers who care for gout patients (n=15). The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Using qualitative methods, results were analyzed and themes were identified. Interviews focused on the acute management, chronic management, and prevention and improvement strategies.
Providers viewed the majority of patients as having excellent relief with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, colchicine and glucocorticoids while some patients felt these medications were ineffective. Providers felt most patients had a good understanding of the rationale for ULD therapy and that patients responded well. Some patients felt ULDs triggered, worsened or had no impact on their disease. Most providers thought medication adherence was relatively good. Some patients reported discontinuing medications. Discontinuations were largely purposeful and due to clinical or financial concerns. Most providers thought their skills adequate to teach disease self-management behaviors. Patients requested more information and longer visit times.
Providers view gout as easily managed while patients report challenges and purposeful nonadherence.
PMCID: PMC3134238  PMID: 20675361
medication use; gout treatment; medication adherence; qualitative
16.  A National Survey of Veterans Affairs Rheumatologists for Relevance of Quality of Care Indicators for Gout Management 
Arthritis care & research  2010;62(9):1306-1311.
To determine the relevance of current gout Quality indicators (QIs).
Members of the Veterans Affairs Rheumatology Consortium were invited to participate in an online survey and provide opinions (rank 0–10) regarding existing gout QIs. Opinions sought on each QI were 1) relevance to United States Veterans, 2) likelihood to improve gout care, and 3) ease of electronic capture. Participants were also asked to rank their top 3 gout QIs.
Participating VA rheumatologists were mainly male, of mean age 51.3 years and experienced in the management of gout. All 10 gout QIs were considered relevant, with a score of 8.2 of higher. The initiation of urate lowering therapy, monitoring of urate levels after initiation of urate lowering therapy, and treatment of acute gout with anti-inflammatory agents scored the highest with regards to likely to improving gout care, with the first 2 QIs also felt to be most relevant. Adjustment of initial allopurinol dosing in patients with renal impairment and in those receiving concurrent azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine were perceived as the QIs most amenable to electronic capture. The top ranked QIs were initiation of urate-lowering therapy with frequent gout attacks, serum urate monitoring after initiation of urate lowering therapy and adjustment of initial allopurinol dose to renal function.
In a national survey of VA rheumatologists, most gout QIs were thought to be highly relevant. QIs related to initiation of urate lowering therapy, serum urate monitoring, and initial dosing of allopurinol were ranked the most important for veterans with gout.
PMCID: PMC2943024  PMID: 20235197
Quality Indicators; Gout; Veterans Affairs
17.  Tophaceous Gout and Renal Insufficiency: A New Solution for an Old Therapeutic Dilemma 
Case Reports in Medicine  2011;2011:397646.
The prevalence of gout is increasing with increased life expectancy. Approximately half of the patients with gout have some degree of renal impairment. If both conditions persistently coexist, and in severe tophaceous gout, in particular, treatment has been difficult. We here report on the case of an 87-year-old woman, who had been suffering from recurrent gouty arthritis over 4 years. Monthly polyarthritis attacks were accompanied by subcutaneous tophi. Serum uric acid levels were constantly above 600 μmol/L (10 mg/dL). Allopurinol was no option because of intolerance, while benzbromarone was ineffective because of renal impairment. Therefore, the novel xanthin oxidase inhibitor febuxostat was started, achieving rapid control of serum urate levels (<360 μmol/L). After initial worsening of inflammation in the first weeks, gouty attacks stopped and all tophi resolved within the following 10 months. Renal function remained stable.
PMCID: PMC3099210  PMID: 21629805
18.  African American patients with gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat vs allopurinol 
African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop gout, but they are less likely to be treated with urate-lowering therapy (ULT). Furthermore, African Americans typically present with more comorbidities associated with gout, such as hypertension, obesity, and renal impairment. We determined the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in African American subjects with gout and associated comorbidities and in comparison to Caucasian gout subjects.
This is a secondary analysis of the 6-month Phase 3 CONFIRMS trial. Eligible gouty subjects with baseline serum urate (sUA) ≥ 8.0 mg/dL were randomized 1:1:1 to receive febuxostat 40 mg, febuxostat 80 mg, or allopurinol (300 mg or 200 mg depending on renal function) daily. All subjects received gout flare prophylaxis. Primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects in each treatment group with sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at the final visit. Additional endpoints included the proportion of subjects with mild or with moderate renal impairment who achieved a target sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at final visit. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded throughout the study.
Of the 2,269 subjects enrolled, 10.0% were African American and 82.1% were Caucasian. African American subjects were mostly male (89.5%), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; 67.1%), with mean baseline sUA of 9.8 mg/dL and mean duration of gout of 10.4 years. The proportions of African American subjects with a baseline history of diabetes, renal impairment, or cardiovascular disease were significantly higher compared to Caucasians (p < 0.001). ULT with febuxostat 80 mg was superior to both febuxostat 40 mg (p < 0.001) and allopurinol (p = 0.004). Febuxostat 40 mg was comparable in efficacy to allopurinol. Significantly more African American subjects with mild or moderate renal impairment achieved sUA < 6.0 mg/dL in the febuxostat 80 group than in either the febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol group (p < 0.05). Efficacy rates in all treatment groups regardless of renal function were comparable between African American and Caucasian subjects, as were AE rates.
In African American subjects with significant comorbidities, febuxostat 80 mg is significantly more efficacious than either febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol 200/300 mg. Febuxostat was well tolerated in this African American population.
Please see related article:
PMCID: PMC3317813  PMID: 22316106
19.  Allopurinol Therapy in Gout Patients Does Not Associate with Beneficial Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Population-Based Matched-Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99102.
Previous studies have shown an association between gout and/or hyperuricemia and a subsequent increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes. Allopurinol reduces vascular oxidative stress, ameliorates inflammatory state, improves endothelial function, and prevents atherosclerosis progression. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that a positive association between allopurinol therapy in gout patients and future cardiovascular outcomes is present using a population-based matched-cohort study design.
Patients aged ≥40 years with newly diagnosed gout having no pre-existing severe form of CVD were separated into allopurinol (n = 2483) and non-allopurinol (n = 2483) groups after matching for age, gender, index date, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and atrial fibrillation. The two groups were also balanced in terms of uric acid nephrolithiasis, acute kidney injury, hepatitis, and Charlson comorbidity index.
With a median follow-up time of 5.25 years, the allopurinol group had a modest increase in cardiovascular risk [relative risk, 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.08–1.34]. A Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for chronic kidney disease, uremia, and gastric ulcer gave a hazard ratio (HR) for cardiovascular outcomes of 1.25 (95% CI, 1.10–1.41) in gout patients receiving allopurinol compared with the non-allopurinol group. In further analysis of patients receiving urate-lowering therapy, the uricosuric agent group (n = 1713) had an adjusted HR of 0.83 (0.73–0.95) for cardiovascular events compared with the allopurinol group.
The current population-based matched-cohort study did not support the association between allopurinol therapy in gout patients with normal risk for cardiovascular sequels and beneficial future cardiovascular outcomes. Several important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, blood pressure were not obtainable in the current retrospective cohort study, thus could potentially bias the effect estimate.
PMCID: PMC4045898  PMID: 24897240
20.  Tophus burden reduction with pegloticase: results from phase 3 randomized trials and open-label extension in patients with chronic gout refractory to conventional therapy 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(5):R137.
Two replicate randomized, placebo-controlled six-month trials (RCTs) and an open-label treatment extension (OLE) comprised the pegloticase development program in patients with gout refractory to conventional therapy. In the RCTs, approximately 40% of patients treated with the approved dose saw complete response (CR) of at least one tophus. Here we describe the temporal course of tophus resolution, total tophus burden in patients with multiple tophi, tophus size at baseline, and the relationship between tophus response and urate-lowering efficacy.
Baseline subcutaneous tophi were analyzed quantitatively using computer-assisted digital images in patients receiving pegloticase (8 mg biweekly or monthly) or placebo in the RCTs, and pegloticase in the OLE. Tophus response, a secondary endpoint in the trials, was evaluated two ways. Overall tophus CR was the proportion of patients achieving a best response of CR (without any new/enlarging tophi) and target tophus complete response (TT-CR) was the proportion of all tophi with CR.
Among 212 patients randomized in the RCTs, 155 (73%) had ≥1 tophus and 547 visible tophi were recorded at baseline. Overall tophus CR was recorded in 45% of patients in the biweekly group (P = 0.002 versus placebo), 26% in the monthly group, and 8% in the placebo group after six months of RCT therapy. TT-CR rates at six months were 28%, 19%, and 2% of tophi, respectively. Patients meeting the primary endpoint of sustained urate-lowering response to therapy (responders) were more likely than nonresponders to have an overall tophus CR at six months (54% vs 20%, respectively and 8% with placebo).
Both overall tophus CR and TT-CRs increased with treatment duration in the OLE, reaching 70% (39/56) of patients and 55% (132/238) of target tophi after one year of treatment in patients receiving pegloticase during both the RCTs and OLE. At that time point, more tophi had resolved in responders (102/145 or 70% of tophi) than nonresponders (30/93; 32%).
Pegloticase reduced tophus burden in patients with refractory tophaceous gout, especially those achieving sustained urate-lowering. Complete resolution of tophi occurred in some patients by 13 weeks and in others with longer-term therapy.
Trial registrations
NCT00325195, NCT01356498
PMCID: PMC3979037  PMID: 24286509
21.  Quality of Life and Quality of Care for patients with Gout 
Current rheumatology reports  2009;11(2):154-160.
Acute and chronic gouty arthritis lead to significant pain, activity limitation and disability and impact patient’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Many effective therapies are available for treatment of gouty arthritis, yet medication errors in treatment of gout are common. One of the main goals of therapy is to lower serum uric acid, which in turn leads to a reduction in frequency of gout flares. Evidence suggests that the quality of care provided to patients with gout may impact their HRQoL. This review summarizes the evidence with regards to quality of care and quality of life in patients with gout.
PMCID: PMC3855300  PMID: 19296889
Quality of Life; Quality of care; gout; Health-related quality of Life; HRQoL
22.  Efficacy and Safety of Febuxostat in Patients with Hyperuricemia and Gout 
The past decade has witnessed an exponential increase of novel therapeutic modalities for a variety of rheumatic disorders, including gout. During the past few years two novel therapeutic agents have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout, one of them being febuxostat, a nonpurine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. Review of its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, efficacy and safety profile, and use in gout patients with comorbid conditions reveals that age and gender have no clinically significant effect and dose adjustments based on age or gender are not required. In addition, febuxostat can be used in patients with mild-to-moderate renal or hepatic involvement. Its overall efficacy and safety profile is comparable and, in certain subsets such as gout patients with mild and moderate renal insufficiency, is superior to allopurinol.
PMCID: PMC3383531  PMID: 22870483
hyperuricemia; febuxostat; gout; safety profile; efficacy profile
23.  New advances in the treatment of gout: review of pegloticase 
Treatment-failure gout (TFG) affects approximately 50,000 patients or about 1% of the overall population of patients with gout in the United States of America. The severity of TFG is manifested by frequent acute attacks of disabling arthritis, chronic deforming joint disease, destructive masses of urate crystals (tophi), progressive physical disability, and poor health-related quality of life. Pegloticase (Krystexxa®; Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc), a novel PEGylated urate oxidase (uricase) enzyme, has been resubmitted for US Food and Drug Administration approval. In a 6-month, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 8 mg of pegloticase for every 2 weeks induced a lytic decrease of serum urate (sUr) concentrations, leading to dissolution of tophi in 40% of patients at final visit. However, 58% were nonresponders to the defined target sUr of 0.36 mmol/L (80% were nonresponders during months 3 and 6), possibly due to anti-body formation. Also, 26%–31% experienced infusion reactions (IRs) and 77% suffered from gout flares. Although long-term data are awaited, an anti-inflammatory strategy, eg, based on glucocorticosteroids, is needed to prevent pegloticase antibody formation leading to IRs and diminished or shortened efficacy, and might also prevent gout flares. According to the current clinical data, pegloticase might have an important role as a (bridging) treatment in sUr-responsive patients for tophi clearance in severe chronic refractory gout.
PMCID: PMC2988614  PMID: 21127695
pegloticase; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; PEG-uricase
24.  Primary care providers’ knowledge, beliefs and treatment practices for gout: results of a physician questionnaire 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2013;52(9):1623-1629.
Objective. We sought to examine primary care providers’ gout knowledge and reported treatment patterns in comparison with current treatment recommendations.
Methods. We conducted a national survey of a random sample of US primary care physicians to assess their treatment of acute, intercritical and tophaceous gout using published European and American gout treatment recommendations and guidelines as a gold standard.
Results. There were 838 respondents (response rate of 41%), most of whom worked in private practice (63%) with >16 years experience (52%). Inappropriate dosing of medications in the setting of renal disease and lack of prophylaxis when initiating urate-lowering therapy (ULT) accounted for much of the lack of compliance with treatment recommendations. Specifically for acute podagra, 53% reported avoidance of anti-inflammatory drugs in the setting of renal insufficiency, use of colchicine at a dose of ≤2.4 mg/day and no initiation of a ULT during an acute attack. For intercritical gout in the setting of renal disease, 3% would provide care consistent with the recommendations, including initiating a ULT at the appropriate dose with dosing titration to a serum urate level of ≤6 mg/dl and providing prophylaxis. For tophaceous gout, 17% reported care consistent with the recommendations, including ULT use with dosing titration to a serum urate level of ≤6 mg/dl and prophylaxis.
Conclusion. Only half of primary care providers reported optimal treatment practices for the management of acute gout and <20% for intercritical or tophaceous gout, suggesting that care deficiencies are common.
PMCID: PMC3741476  PMID: 23620554
gout knowledge; medication use; treatment practices
25.  Pegloticase for Treatment of Tophaceous Polyarticular Gout 
This is a case report of a patient with treatment resistant gout who was prescribed pegloticase and developed a severe reaction. A 30-year-old Hawaiian-Filipino man presented with a nine-year history of gout that progressed from episodic monoarticular arthritis, treated with aspiration and corticosteroid injections, to more aggressive disease with more frequent attacks requiring escalation of therapy. He was treated with systemic corticosteroids, colchicine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but then required allopurinol. Despite aggressive therapy, the patient continued to have hyperuricemia and tophi developed even after treatment with febuxostat and probenicid. The patient became wheel chair bound due to his pain and, at that point, the decision was made to initiate treatment with pegloticase. The patient initially experienced significant improvement with treatment; however, he soon began to have elevation in his serum uric acid levels and developed a severe reaction during treatment.
PMCID: PMC3727571  PMID: 23901393
pegloticase; tophi; treatment resistant gout; infusion reaction

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