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1.  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.
Objectives
To assess concordance of the management of chronic gout in UK primary care with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) gout recommendations.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1136/ard.2007.070755
PMCID: PMC1994300  PMID: 17504843
gout; primary health care; lifestyle risk reduction; allopurinol; EULAR recommendations
2.  Lack of change in urate deposition by dual-energy computed tomography among clinically stable patients with long-standing tophaceous gout: a prospective longitudinal study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(5):R160.
Introduction
Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) has potential for monitoring urate deposition in patients with gout. The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to analyse measurement error of DECT urate volume measurement in clinically stable patients with tophaceous gout.
Methods
Seventy-three patients with tophaceous gout on stable therapy attended study visits at baseline and twelve months. All patients had a comprehensive clinical assessment including serum urate testing and DECT scanning of both feet. Two readers analysed the DECT scans for the total urate volume in both feet. Analysis included inter-reader intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and limits of agreement, and calculation of the smallest detectable change.
Results
Mean (standard deviation) serum urate concentration over the study period was 0.38 (0.09) mmol/L. Urate-lowering therapy was prescribed in 70 (96%) patients. The median (interquartile range) baseline DECT urate volume was 0.49 (0.16, 2.18) cm3, and change in DECT urate volume was -0.01 (-0.40, 0.28) cm3. Inter-reader ICCs were 1.00 for baseline DECT volumes and 0.93 for change values. Inter-reader bias (standard deviation) for baseline volumes was -0.18 (0.63) cm3 and for change was -0.10 (0.93) cm3. The smallest detectable change was 0.91 cm3. There were 47 (64%) patients with baseline DECT urate volumes <0.91 cm3. Higher serum urate concentrations were observed in patients with increased DECT urate volumes above the smallest detectable change (P = 0.006). However, a relationship between changes in DECT urate volumes and serum urate concentrations was not observed in the entire group.
Conclusions
In patients with tophaceous gout on stable conventional urate-lowering therapy the measurement error for DECT urate volume assessment is substantially greater than the median baseline DECT volume. Analysis of patients commencing or intensifying urate-lowering therapy should clarify the optimal use of DECT as a potential outcome measure in studies of chronic gout.
doi:10.1186/ar4343
PMCID: PMC3978645  PMID: 24286500
3.  Gout. Novel therapies for treatment of gout and hyperuricemia 
In the past few decades, gout has increased not only in prevalence, but also in clinical complexity, the latter accentuated in part by a dearth of novel advances in treatments for hyperuricemia and gouty arthritis. Fortunately, recent research reviewed here, much of it founded on elegant translational studies of the past decade, highlights how gout can be better managed with cost-effective, well-established therapies. In addition, the advent of both new urate-lowering and anti-inflammatory drugs, also reviewed here, promises for improved management of refractory gout, including in subjects with co-morbidities such as chronic kidney disease. Effectively delivering improved management of hyperuricemia and gout will require a frame shift in practice patterns, including increased recognition of the implications of refractory disease and frequent noncompliance of patients with gout, and understanding the evidence basis for therapeutic targets in serum urate-lowering and gouty inflammation.
doi:10.1186/ar2738
PMCID: PMC2745774  PMID: 19664185
4.  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
5.  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.
Summary
Targeting low sUA could improve the elimination of tissue urate stores and achieve better control of disease in patients with refractory gout.
doi:10.1097/BOR.0b013e3283257b83
PMCID: PMC2920449  PMID: 19339924
Gout; tophus; hypouricemia; pegloticase; febuxostat
6.  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.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keq346
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
7.  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.
doi:10.2147/TCRM.S6043
PMCID: PMC2988614  PMID: 21127695
pegloticase; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; PEG-uricase
8.  Can racial disparities in optimal gout treatment be reduced? evidence from a randomized trial 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:15.
There is a disproportionate burden of gout in African-Americans in the U.S. due to a higher disease prevalence and lower likelihood of receiving urate-lowering therapy (ULT), compared to Caucasians. There is an absence of strong data as to whether the response to ULT differs by race/ethnicity. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders recently published a secondary analyses of the CONFIRMS trial, a large randomized controlled, double-blind trial of 2,269 gout patients. The authors reported that the likelihood of achieving the primary study efficacy end-point of achieving serum urate < 6 mg/dl was similar between African-Americans and Caucasians, for all three treatment arms (Febuxostat 40 mg and 80 mg and allopurinol 300/200 mg). More importantly, rates were similar in subgroups of patients with mild or moderate renal insufficiency. Adverse event rates were similar, as were the rates of gout flares. These findings constitute a convincing evidence to pursue aggressive ULT in gout patients, regardless of race/ethnicity. This approach will likely help to narrow the documented racial disparities in gout care.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/13/15
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-15
PMCID: PMC3337326  PMID: 22316088
Gout; Disparity; Race; treatment; Febuxostat; Allopurinol; randomized; African-American
9.  The efficacy and safety of febuxostat for urate lowering in gout patients ≥65 years of age 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:11.
Background
The incidence of gout rises with increasing age. Management of elderly (≥65 years) gout patients can be challenging due to high rates of comorbidities, such as renal impairment and cardiovascular disease, and concomitant medication use. However, there is little data specifically addressing the efficacy and safety of available urate-lowering therapies (ULT) in the elderly. The objective of this post hoc analysis was to examine the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in a subset of elderly subjects enrolled in the CONFIRMS trial.
Methods
Hyperuricemic (serum urate [sUA] levels ≥ 8.0 mg/dL) gout subjects were enrolled in the 6-month, double-blind, randomized, comparative CONFIRMS trial and randomized, 1:1:1, to receive febuxostat, 40 mg or 80 mg, or allopurinol (200 mg or 300 mg based on renal function) once daily. Flare prophylaxis was provided throughout the study duration.
Study endpoints were the percent of elderly subjects with sUA <6.0 mg/dL at the final visit, overall and by renal function status, percent change in sUA from baseline to final visit, flare rates, and rates of adverse events (AEs).
Results
Of 2,269 subjects enrolled, 374 were elderly. Febuxostat 80 mg was significantly more efficacious (82.0%) than febuxostat 40 mg (61.7%; p < 0.001) or allopurinol (47.3%; p < 0.001) for achieving the primary efficacy endpoint. Febuxostat 40 mg was also superior to allopurinol in this population (p = 0.029). In subjects with mild-to-moderate renal impairment, significantly greater ULT efficacy was observed with febuxostat 40 mg (61.6%; p = 0.028) and febuxostat 80 mg (82.5%; p < 0.001) compared to allopurinol 200/300 mg (46.9%). Compared to allopurinol 200/300 mg, the mean percent change in sUA from baseline was significantly greater for both febuxostat 80 mg (p < 0.001) and febuxostat 40 mg (p = 0.011) groups. Flare rates declined steadily in all treatment groups. Rates of AEs were low and comparable across treatments.
Conclusions
These data suggest that either dose of febuxostat is superior to commonly prescribed fixed doses of allopurinol (200/300 mg) in subjects ≥65 years of age with high rates of renal dysfunction. In addition, in this high-risk population, ULT with either drug was well tolerated.
Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov NCT#00430248
doi:10.1186/1471-2318-12-11
PMCID: PMC3368715  PMID: 22436129
10.  Revisiting the pathogenesis of podagra: why does gout target the foot? 
This invited paper provides a summary of a keynote lecture delivered at the 2011 Australasian Podiatry Conference. Gout is the most prevalent inflammatory arthropathy. It displays a striking predilection to affect the first metatarsophalangeal joint as well as joints within the mid-foot and ankle. A number of factors are known to reduce urate solubility and enhance nucleation of monosodium urate crystals including decreased temperature, lower pH and physical shock, all of which may be particularly relevant to crystal deposition in the foot. An association has also been proposed between monosodium urate crystal deposition and osteoarthritis, which also targets the first metatarsophalangeal joint. Cadaveric, clinical and radiographic studies indicate that monosodium urate crystals more readily deposit in osteoarthritic cartilage. Transient intra-articular hyperuricaemia and precipitation of monosodium urate crystals is thought to follow overnight resolution of synovial effusion within the osteoarthritic first metatarsophalangeal joint. The proclivity of gout for the first metatarsophalangeal joint is likely to be multi-factorial in origin, arising from the unique combination of the susceptibility of the joint to osteoarthritis and other determinants of urate solubility and crystal nucleation such as temperature and minor physical trauma which are particularly relevant to the foot.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-4-13
PMCID: PMC3117776  PMID: 21569453
11.  Beneficial effects of weight loss associated with moderate calorie/carbohydrate restriction, and increased proportional intake of protein and unsaturated fat on serum urate and lipoprotein levels in gout: a pilot study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(7):539-543.
OBJECTIVES—Insulin resistance (IR) has been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of gout. The lipoprotein abnormalities described in hyperuricaemic subjects are similar to those associated with IR, and insulin influences renal urate excretion. In this study it was investigated whether dietary measures, reported to be beneficial in IR, have serum uric acid (SU) and lipid lowering effects in gout.
METHODS—Thirteen non-diabetic men (median age 50, range 38-62) were enrolled. Each patient had had at least two gouty attacks during the four months before enrolment. Dietary recommendations consisted of calorie restriction to 6690 kJ (1600 kcal) a day with 40% derived from carbohydrate, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat; replacement of refined carbohydrates with complex ones and saturated fats with mono- and polyunsaturated ones. At onset and after 16 weeks, fasting blood samples were taken for determination of SU, serum cholesterol (C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TGs). Results were expressed as median (SD).
RESULTS—At onset, the body mass index (BMI) was 30.5 (8.1) kg/m2. Dietary measures resulted in weight loss of 7.7 (5.4) kg (p=0.002) and a decrease in the frequency of monthly attacks from 2.1 (0.8) to 0.6 (0.7) (p=0.002). The SU decreased from 0.57 (0.10) to 0.47 (0.09) mmol/l (p=0.001) and normalised in 7 (58%) of the 12 patients with an initially raised level. Serum cholesterol decreased from 6.0 (1.7) to 4.7 (0.9) mmol/l (p=0.002), LDL-C from 3.5 (1.2) to 2.7 (0.8) mmol/l (p=0.004), TGs from 4.7 (4.2) to 1.9 (1.0) mmol/l (p=0.001), and C:HDL-C ratios from 6.7 (1.7) to 5.2 (1.0) (p=0.002). HDL-C levels increased insignificantly. High baseline SU, frequency of attacks, total cholesterol, LDL-C and TG levels, and total C:HDL-C ratios correlated with higher decreases in the respective variables upon dietary intervention (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION—The results suggest that weight reduction associated with a change in proportional macronutrient intake, as recently recommended in IR, is beneficial, reducing the SU levels and dyslipidaemia in gout. Current dietary recommendations for gout may need re-evaluation.


doi:10.1136/ard.59.7.539
PMCID: PMC1753185  PMID: 10873964
12.  Tophi and frequent gout flares are associated with impairments to quality of life, productivity, and increased healthcare resource use: Results from a cross-sectional survey 
Background
The prevalence of gout is increasing, and most research on the associated burden has focused on serum urate (sUA) levels. The present study quantifies the impact of the presence of tophi and frequency of acute gout attacks on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), productivity, and healthcare resource utilization.
Methods
Patients with self-reported gout (n = 620; 338 in US and 282 across France, Germany, and UK) were contacted based on inclusion in the 2010 US and EU National Health and Wellness Surveys (Kantar Health) and the Lightspeed Research ailment panel. Respondents were categorized into mutually-exclusive groups based on number of gout flares experienced in the past 12 months (0/don’t recall, 1–2, 3, 4–5, 6+), current presence of tophi (none, 1+, or not sure), and sUA level awareness (yes, no). HRQOL (SF-12v2), healthcare provider visits in the last 6 months, and work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI) were compared across groups.
Results
Most patients were males, mean age of 61 years, who reported experiencing at least one acute gout flare in the past 12 months, and 12.3% (n = 76) reported presence of tophi. Among the 27.7% (n = 172) of patients who were aware of their sUA levels, higher sUA was associated with more flares and tophi. Decreased HRQOL was associated with more frequent flares and presence of tophi. In multivariable models predicting outcomes based on presence of tophi and number of flares, both flares (≥4) and tophi (≥1) were associated with HRQOL decrements on physical and mental component summary scores and health utilities (all p < 0.05), after adjustment for age, gender, and time since diagnosis. Flares were also associated with greater activity impairment.
Conclusions
Impairments associated with gout flares and presence of tophi, across patients in the US and EU, underscore the importance of effective management of this potentially curable condition.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-117
PMCID: PMC3499162  PMID: 22999027
Gout; Quality of life; Productivity; Refractory chronic gout
13.  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
14.  Health Care Utilization in Patients with Gout 
Objective
To study health care utilization patterns in patients with gout.
Methods
In a gout population from primary care and rheumatology clinics in three U.S. metropolitan cities, we collected data on gout-related utilization (primary care, rheumatology, urgent care, emergency room and other) in the past year. We evaluated the association of comorbidities, age, gender, gout characteristics (time since last gout attack and tophi) and gout severity ratings (mean of serum uric acid, patient-rated and physician-rated gout severity) and with emergency/urgent care and primary care utilization using regression and correlation analyses.
Results
Of the 296 patients who reported visiting at least one type of health practitioner for gout in the past year, percent of patients utilizing the service at least once and annual utilization rates among utilizers were: primary care physician, 60%, 3.0±3.4; nurse practitioner/physician assistant, 26%, 2.7±2.5; rheumatologist, 51%, 3.7±5.7; urgent care, 23%, 2.1±2.2; emergency room, 20%, 2.0±1.7; and hospitalization, 7%, 2.1±1.4. Higher overall gout severity was associated with greater use of each resource type and with overall gout-related utilization. Non- emergency/non-urgent care utilization (primary care physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant and rheumatologist for gout) was the strongest predictor of gout-related emergency/urgent care utilization. Patients with more comorbidities had greater gout-related primary care utilization.
Conclusions
Overall gout severity was associated with all types of gout-related utilization. This may help to screen high utilizers for targeted behavioral and therapeutic interventions. Having a higher number of comorbid conditions was a risk factor for higher gout-related primary care utilization.
doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2010.07.001
PMCID: PMC3026897  PMID: 20828793
Health care utilization; gout; predictors; resource utilization; gout severity
15.  African American patients with gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat vs allopurinol 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/15
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-15
PMCID: PMC3317813  PMID: 22316106
16.  A common missense variant of monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene is associated with renal overload gout, but not with all gout susceptibility 
Human Cell  2013;26:133-136.
Gout is a common disease caused by hyperuricemia, which shows elevated serum uric acid (SUA) levels. From a viewpoint of urate handling in humans, gout patients can be divided into those with renal overload (ROL) gout with intestinal urate underexcretion, and those with renal underexcretion (RUE) gout. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) revealed an association between SUA and a variant in human monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene. Although the function of MCT9 remains unclear, urate is mostly excreted via intestine and kidney where MCT9 expression is observed. In this study, we investigated the relationship between a variant of MCT9 and gout in 545 patients and 1,115 healthy volunteers. A missense variant of MCT9 (K258T), rs2242206, significantly increased the risk of ROL gout (p = 0.012), with odds ratio (OR) of 1.28, although it revealed no significant association with all gout cases (p = 0.10), non-ROL gout cases (p = 0.83), and RUE gout cases (p = 0.34). In any case groups and the control group, minor allele frequencies of rs2242206 were >0.40. Therefore, rs2242206 is a common missense variant and is revealed to have an association with ROL gout, indicating that rs2242206 relates to decreased intestinal urate excretion rather than decreased renal urate excretion. Our study provides clues to better understand the pathophysiology of gout as well as the physiological roles of MCT9.
doi:10.1007/s13577-013-0073-8
PMCID: PMC3844819  PMID: 23990105
Gouty arthritis; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Gut urate excretion; Carnitine; Solute carrier (SLC) family transporter
17.  Reduced creatinine clearance is associated with early development of subcutaneous tophi in people with gout 
Background
Although typically a late feature of gout, tophi may present early in the course of disease. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with the presence of early tophaceous disease.
Methods
People with gout for <10 years were prospectively recruited, and had a comprehensive clinical assessment including examination for subcutaneous tophi. The clinical factors independently associated with the presence and number of tophi were analyzed using regression models.
Results
Of the 290 participants, there were 47 (16.2%) with clinically apparent tophi. In univariate analysis, those with tophi were older, were more frequently taking diuretics and colchicine prophylaxis, and had lower creatinine clearance. The association between the presence of tophi and creatinine clearance was strongest in those with creatinine clearance ≤30 ml/min. In logistic regression analysis, creatinine clearance ≤30 ml/min was associated with the presence of tophi, even after adjusting for ethnicity, corticosteroid use, colchicine use and diuretic use (multivariate adjusted odds ratio 7.0, p = 0.005). Participants with tophi reported higher frequency of gout flares, pain scores, patient global assessment scores, and HAQ scores.
Conclusions
The presence of tophi is associated with more symptomatic disease in people with gout for <10 years. Creatinine clearance is independently associated with early presentation of subcutaneous tophi.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-363
PMCID: PMC3878111  PMID: 24359261
Gout; Tophus; Kidney; Creatinine
18.  Febuxostat: A Novel Agent for Management of Hyperuricemia in Gout 
Gout is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated uric acid levels in the body, associated with painful arthritis, tophi and nephropathy. The most frequently used pharmacologic urate lowering strategies involve reducing urate production with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor and enhancing urinary excretion of uric acid with a uricosuric agent. Urate lowering agents are limited in number, availability and effectiveness. The emergence of a new medication, febuxostat, to lower serum urate levels is welcome as no new drug have been approved since the introduction of allopurinol, in 1964, and the drugs that are available have limitations owing to inefficacy or toxicity. Febuxostat is a novel, nonpurine selective inhibitor of xanthine oxidase, is a potential alternative to allopurinol for patients with hyperuricemia and gout.
doi:10.4103/0250-474X.100231
PMCID: PMC3480742  PMID: 23112391
Gout; hyperuricemia; xanthine oxidase inhibitor
19.  Multiple Genetic Loci Influence Serum Urate and Their Relationship with Gout and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors 
Background
Elevated serum urate levels can lead to gout and are associated with cardiovascular risk factors. We performed genome-wide association to search for genetic susceptibility loci for serum urate and gout, and investigated the causal nature of the associations of serum urate with gout and selected cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods and Results
Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed in 5 population-based cohorts of the CHARGE consortium for serum urate and gout in 28,283 white individuals. The effect of the most significant SNP at all genome-wide significant loci on serum urate was added to create a genetic urate score. Findings were replicated in the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS; n=22,054). SNPs at 8 genetic loci achieved genome-wide significance with serum urate levels (p-values 4×10−8 to 2×10−242; SLC22A11, GCKR, R3HDM2-INHBC region, RREB1, PDZK1, SLC2A9, ABCG2, SLC17A1). Only two loci [SLC2A9, ABCG2] showed genome-wide significant association with gout. The genetic urate score was strongly associated with serum urate and gout (odds ratio 12.4 per 100 umol/L; p-value=3×10−39), but not with blood pressure, glucose, eGFR, chronic kidney disease, or CHD. The lack of association between the genetic score and the latter phenotypes was also observed in WGHS.
Conclusions
The genetic urate score analysis suggested a causal relationship between serum urate and gout but did not provide evidence for one between serum urate and cardiovascular risk factors and CHD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.109.934455
PMCID: PMC3371395  PMID: 20884846
urate; gout; cardiovascular disease risk factors; genome-wide association study; Mendelian randomization
20.  Febuxostat in the management of hyperuricemia and chronic gout: a review 
Febuxostat is a novel, potent, non-purine selective xanthine oxidase inhibitor, which in clinical trials demonstrated superior ability to lower and maintain serum urate levels below 6 mg/dL compared with conventionally used doses of allopurinol. Febuxostat was well tolerated in long term treatment in patients with hyperuricemia including those experiencing hypersensitity/intolerance to allopurinol. Dose adjustment appears unnecessary in patients with mild to moderate renal or liver insufficiency or advanced age. The most common adverse reactions reported were abnormal liver function tests, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms, which were usually mild and transient. However, whether hepatotoxicity becomes a limitation in the use of febuxostat needs to be determined in further studies. An increased frequency of gout flares occurs for a prolonged period after treatment initiation, as with any aggressive lowering of serum urate, and prolonged prophylaxis with colchicine or NSAIDs is usually required. Febuxostat has been granted marketing authorization by the European Commission in early 2008 for the treatment of chronic hyperuricemia and gout. Febuxostat is the first major treatment alternative for gout in more than 40 years and is a promising alternative to allopurinol, although continued long-term surveillance on safety and efficacy is required.
PMCID: PMC2643102  PMID: 19337428
febuxostat; TEI-6720; TMX-67; gout; hyperuricemia; xanthine oxidase inhibitor
21.  Hyperuricemia and untreated gout are poor prognostic markers among those with a recent acute myocardial infarction 
Introduction
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
sUA and untreated gout may be independent prognostic markers for poor all-cause and CHD mortality in patients with recent acute MI.
doi:10.1186/ar3684
PMCID: PMC3392798  PMID: 22251426
22.  Veterans Affairs databases are accurate for gout-related health care utilization: a validation study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R224.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of Veterans Affairs (VA) databases for gout-related health care utilization.
Methods
This retrospective study utilized VA administrative and clinical databases. A random sample of gout patients with visits (outpatient, inpatient or emergent/urgent care) with or without the diagnosis of gout (International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, common modification ICD-9-CM code of 274.x or 274.xx) at the Birmingham VA hospital was selected. A blinded abstractor performed a review of VA electronic health records for the documentation of gout or gout-related terms (gouty arthritis, tophaceous gout, tophus/tophi, acute gout, chronic gout, podagra, urate stones, urate or uric acid crystals and so on) in the chief complaint, history of present illness or assessment and plan for the visit; this constituted the gold standard for gout-related utilization. The accuracy of database-derived gout-related claims was assessed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV).
Results
Of 108 potential visits, 85 outpatient, inpatient or urgent care/emergency room visits to a health care provider (85 patients: 84 men and 1 woman with a mean age of 63 years) and retrievable data from medical records constituted the analyzed dataset. Administrative claims for gout-related utilization with ICD-9 code for gout were accurate with a PPV of 86%, specificity of 95%, sensitivity of 86% and NPV of 95%.
Conclusions
VA databases are accurate for gout-related visits. These findings support their use for studies of health services and outcome studies. It remains to be seen if these findings are generalizable to other settings and databases.
doi:10.1186/ar4425
PMCID: PMC3979008  PMID: 24377421
23.  Diabetes and gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat and allopurinol 
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism  2013;15(11):1049-1055.
Aim Assess influences of demographics and co-morbidities of gout patients with or without diabetes on safety and efficacy of urate-lowering agents.
Methods Post-hoc analysis of 312 diabetic and 1957 non-diabetic gout patients [baseline serum urate levels (sUA) ≥8.0 mg/dl] enrolled in a 6-month randomized controlled trial comparing urate-lowering efficacy (ULE) and safety of daily xanthine oxidase inhibitors (XOIs) febuxostat (40 mg or 80 mg) and allopurinol (200 mg or 300 mg). We compared baseline demographic, gout and co-morbid characteristics, ULE, and safety of XOI treatment in diabetic and non-diabetic gout patients. ULE was measured by the proportion of diabetic and non-diabetic patients in each treatment group achieving final visit sUA < 6.0 mg/dl. Safety was monitored throughout the trial.
Results Diabetic gout patients were older, more frequently female, and had longer gout duration. Co-morbidities were more frequent among diabetic patients: cardiovascular disease; impaired renal function; hyperlipidemia; and obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2) (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Febuxostat 80 mg ULE exceeded that of febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol (p < 0.050) at all levels of renal function, achieving sUA goal range in the majority of diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Diabetics and non-diabetics reported self-limiting diarrhoea and URIs as the most common adverse events.
Conclusions Despite higher co-morbidity rates in diabetic patients, febuxostat and allopurinol were safe in both groups at the doses tested. Febuxostat 80 mg achieved sUA <6.0 mg/dl more often than febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol at commonly prescribed doses.
doi:10.1111/dom.12135
PMCID: PMC3902994  PMID: 23683134
clinical trial; diabetes mellitus; drug utilisation
24.  Effect of Fenofibrate in Combination with Urate Lowering Agents in Patients with Gout 
Background
To assess the efficacy of fenofibrate treatment in combination with urate lowering agents in patients with gout.
Methods
Fourteen male patients with chronic tophaceous or recurrent acute attacks of gout were evaluated in an open-label pilot study of the hypolipidemic agent, fenofibrate (Lipidil Supra® 160 mg/d). Patients were stable on urate lowering agents (allopurinol or benzbromarone) for ≥three months without acute attack for the most recent one month before participating. All patients were being treated with established doses of urate lowering agents without modification throughout the study. Clinical and biochemical assessments including serum uric acid, creatinine, liver function test and fasting serum lipid were measured at (1) baseline (2) after two months of fenofibrate treatment and (3) two months after fenofibrate was withdrawn.
Results
Serum uric acid was lowered by 23% after two months of fenofibrate treatment (6.93±2.16 vs. 5.22±1.16 mg/dL; p=0.016). Triglyceride levels were also reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.001). However, this effect was reversed after the withdrawal (p=0.002) of the drug. Alkaline phosphatase was reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.006), but increased 21% after the withdrawal of the drug (p=0.002). By contrast, serum levels of high density lipoprotein and creatinine were increased 9% (p=0.018) and 12% (p=0.006), respectively; however, both levels were significantly decreased to the baseline levels upon withdrawal of fenofibrate.
Conclusions
Fenofibrate can effectively reduce uric acid levels in addition to its known hypolipidemic effect. Fenofibrate may be used as a potential urate lowering agent in patients with gout, especially in those with coexisting hyperlipidemia.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2006.21.2.89
PMCID: PMC3890742  PMID: 16913436
Fenofibrate; Gout; Hyperuricemia; Hyperlipidemia
25.  Long-term safety of pegloticase in chronic gout refractory to conventional treatment 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2012;72(9):1469-1474.
Objective
To evaluate the long-term safety (up to 3 years) of treatment with pegloticase in patients with refractory chronic gout.
Methods
This open-label extension (OLE) study was conducted at 46 sites in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Patients completing either of two replicate randomised placebo-controlled 6-month trials received pegloticase 8 mg every 2 weeks (biweekly) or every 4 weeks (monthly). Safety was evaluated as the primary outcome, with special interest in gout flares and infusion-related reactions (IRs). Secondary outcomes included urate-lowering and clinical efficacy.
Results
Patients (n=149) received a mean±SD of 28±18 pegloticase infusions and were followed for a mean of 25±11 months. Gout flares and IRs were the most frequently reported adverse events; these were least common in patients with a sustained urate-lowering response to treatment and those receiving biweekly treatment. In 10 of the 11 patients with a serious IR, the event occurred when uric acid exceeded 6 mg/dl. Plasma and serum uric acid levels remained <6 mg/dl in most randomised controlled trial (RCT)-defined pegloticase responders throughout the OLE study and were accompanied by sustained and progressive improvements in tophus resolution and flare incidence.
Conclusions
The safety profile of long-term pegloticase treatment was consistent with that observed during 6 months of RCT treatment; no new safety signals were identified. Improvements in clinical status, in the form of flare and tophus reduction initiated during RCT pegloticase treatment in patients maintaining goal range urate-lowering responses were sustained or advanced during up to 2.5 years of additional treatment.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201795
PMCID: PMC3756467  PMID: 23144450
Gout; Treatment; Rheumatoid Arthritis

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