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Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease

  • Author: Constantine K Saadeh, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 15, 2016
 

Background

Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPDD) is a metabolic arthropathy caused by the deposition of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate in and around joints, especially in articular cartilage and fibrocartilage (see the images below).[1] Although CPDD is often asymptomatic, with only radiographic changes seen (ie, chondrocalcinosis), various clinical manifestations may occur, including acute (pseudogout) and chronic arthritis. (See Etiology, Presentation, and Workup.)

Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiogra Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiograph of the knee showing chondrocalcinosis involving the meniscal cartilage, as well as evidence of osteoarthritis.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiogra Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiograph of the wrist and hand showing chondrocalcinosis of the articular disc of the wrist and atypical osteoarthritis involving the metacarpophalangeal joints in a patient with underlying hemochromatosis.

Almost any joint may be involved by CPDD, although the knees, wrists, and hips are most often affected. This condition is the most common cause of secondary metabolic osteoarthritis. (See Presentation.)

According to McCarty, the five most common presentations of CPDD are as follows:

  • Asymptomatic (lanthanic) CPDD
  • Acute pseudogout
  • Pseudo-osteoarthritis
  • Pseudorheumatoid arthritis
  • Pseudoneuropathic joints

Prognosis

Patients with CPDD can experience significant morbidity due to the pain of an acute attack of pseudogout or to symptoms of chronic arthropathy. Treatment of symptomatic CPDD is important to prevent further end-organ damage, but it cannot reverse the joint disease.

Patient education

For patient education information, see the Arthritis Center, as well as Knee Pain.

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Etiology

Although the exact mechanism for the development of CPDD remains unknown, increased adenosine triphosphate breakdown with resultant increased inorganic pyrophosphate in the joints results from aging, genetic factors, or both. Changes in the cartilage matrix may play an important role in promoting CPPD deposition. Rare hereditary forms of CPDD occur, generally inherited in an autosomal dominant mode.

Overactivity of enzymes that break down triphosphates, such as nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase, has been observed in the cartilage of patients with CPDD. Therefore, inorganic pyrophosphate can bind calcium, leading to CPPD deposition in the cartilage and synovium.[2, 3] Hyaline cartilage is affected most commonly, but fibrocartilage, such as the meniscal cartilage of the knee, can also be involved.[4]

Hypotheses based on in vitro studies propose that pyrophosphohydrolase activity and inorganic phosphate content, as noted above, are generalized phenomena that occur in fibroblasts.[5] Although these phenomena are generalized, the reason they occur only in joints remains unknown.

Genetics

Genetic defects have been identified as specific gene mutations in a few kindred families.[6] The mutations were in the genes ANKH and COL, which may be involved in crystal-induced inflammation. This is related to synovial tissue and direct cartilage activation, leading to the arthritis caused by CPPD. The ANKH protein is involved in transport of inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), which regulates calcification, bone mineralization, and bone resorption.[7]

The gene TNFRSF11B encodes osteoprotegerin, which has a critical role in regulating osteoclast development. In a study of patients with familial osteoarthritis with chondrocalcinosis, Ramos et al identified a mutation in TNFRSF11B that results in a form of osteoprotegerin with enhanced capacity to inhibit osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption.[8]

Subsequent messenger RNA expression analysis of the relevant genes in this pathway, in articular cartilage of independent patients undergoing joint replacement surgery for osteoarthritis, showed that upregulation of TNFRSF11B is a general phenomenon in the pathophysiological process of osteoarthritis.[8]

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Epidemiology

Occurrence in the United States

CPDD is a common condition that occurs with aging in all races. In a retrospective study of 1070 consecutive computed tomographic scans of the abdomen and pelvis in patients over 65 years of age, the prevalence of symphysis pubis chondrocalcinosis was 21.1%.[9] Nearly 50% of people older than 85 years have radiologic evidence of chondrocalcinosis.

Sex- and age-related demographics

CPDD is slightly more common in women than in men. The exact female-to-male ratio is unknown but is probably 1.4:1.

CPDD usually occurs in individuals who are in the fifth decade of life or older, with increasing prevalence as age increases. When it occurs early, before the fourth decade of life, it is usually associated with a secondary cause, such as an underlying metabolic disease, or with a familial cause.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Constantine K Saadeh, MD President, Allergy ARTS, LLP; Principal Investigator, Amarillo Center for Clinical Research, Ltd

Constantine K Saadeh, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, Southern Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Herbert S Diamond, MD Visiting Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; Chairman Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine, Western Pennsylvania Hospital

Herbert S Diamond, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Neil J Barkin, MD, FAAOS Consulting Surgeon, Capitol Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, LLC

Neil J Barkin, MD, FAAOS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Lawrence H Brent, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University; Chair, Program Director, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Albert Einstein Medical Center

Lawrence H Brent, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Physicians, and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Abbott Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Centocor Consulting fee Consulting; Genentech Grant/research funds Other; HGS/GSK Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Omnicare Consulting fee Consulting; Pfizer Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Roche Speaking and teaching; Savient Honoraria Speaking and teaching; UCB Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Paul E Di Cesare, MD, FACS Professor, Department of Orthopedic Sugery, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

Paul E Di Cesare, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, and Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Stryker Consulting fee Consulting; Smith & Nephew Consulting fee Consulting

Harris Gellman, MD Consulting Surgeon, Broward Hand Center; Voluntary Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgery, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine

Harris Gellman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, and Arkansas Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jegan Krishnan, MBBS, FRACS, PhD Professor, Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Flinders University of South Australia; Senior Clinical Director of Orthopedic Surgery, Repatriation General Hospital; Private Practice, Orthopaedics SA, Flinders Private Hospital

Jegan Krishnan, MBBS, FRACS, PhD, is a member of the following medical societies: Australian Medical Association, Australian Orthopaedic Association, and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Kristine M Lohr, MD, MS Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Center for the Advancement of Women's Health and Division of Rheumatology, Director, Rheumatology Training Program, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Kristine M Lohr, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jan Malacara, PA-C Consulting Staff, Allergy ARTS, LLP

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Dinesh Patel, MD, FACS Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School; Chief of Arthroscopic Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dinesh Patel, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

Anne Tesar, PA-C Physician Assistant, Capitol Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, LLC

Anne Tesar, PA-C is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physician Assistants

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Shannon Shaw and Michael Gaylor for their hard work in helping to prepare this article.

References
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Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiograph of the knee showing chondrocalcinosis involving the meniscal cartilage, as well as evidence of osteoarthritis.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Radiograph of the wrist and hand showing chondrocalcinosis of the articular disc of the wrist and atypical osteoarthritis involving the metacarpophalangeal joints in a patient with underlying hemochromatosis.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. Appearance of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals obtained from the knee of a patient with pseudogout. The crystals are rhomboid-shaped with weakly positive birefringence, as seen by compensated polarized microscopy. The black arrow indicates the direction of the compensator.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. High-powered view of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals with compensated polarized microscopy. The black arrow indicates the direction of the compensator. Crystals parallel to the compensator are blue, while those perpendicular to the compensator are yellow.
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. High-powered view of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals with compensated polarized microscopy. The crystals parallel to the compensator were blue, while those perpendicular to the compensator were yellow. However, the crystals have been rotated 90%, resulting in a color change in both of them. The direction of the compensator was not changed and is indicated by the black arrow.
Wrist chondrocalcinosis.
Intraoperative photographs demonstrate extensive precipitate deposition of the calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the articular cartilage, meniscus, and synovium of a knee. Left images depict femoral and tibial surfaces. Right images depict anterior cruciate ligament.
Intraoperative photographs demonstrate extensive precipitate deposition of the calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the articular cartilage, meniscus, and synovium of a knee. Upper left image depicts anterior horn medial meniscus. Lower left image depicts undersurface of meniscus. Upper right image depicts medial femoral condyle. Lower right image depicts synovium.
 
 
 
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