Already known to ancient Egyptians, gout is one of the first diseases which have been described as a clinical entity. To date, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. Gout is defined by the deposition of monosodium urate crystals within tissues, causing episodes of acute arthritis and the development of tophi, nephrolithiasis, and urate nephropathy. Hyperuricemia, i.e. levels of serum uric acid above 6.8 mg / dL(404μmol/L), is a condition necessary, yet not sufficient for gout to develop. The increasing incidence of risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, and renal failure together with an ever-growing life expectancy has led in recent decades to a significant increase in gout prevalence, which has more than doubled when compared to the 1960s. This article addresses the issue of gout by highlighting the role played by the kidneys in uric acid homeostasis; the clinical effect of crystal deposition in tissues, including the kidney; the more recent guidelines on diagnosis and management strategies, with special regard to the use of old and new drugs in renal patients.
Full text of the article is available in Italian.