Calcium crystals are present in the synovial fluid of the majority of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty for degenerative arthritis.
Crystals of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate and basic calcium phosphate are known to be important in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis, according to investigators, but their prevalence in end stage disease is unclear.
The investigators, from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, determined the prevalence of calcium crystals in synovial fluid from 53 knees of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. All patients had a pre-operative diagnosis of osteoarthritis and were of an average age of 70 years.
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals were identified by compensated light microscopy and basic calcium phosphate was measured by semiquantitative radiometric assay. Disease severity was assessed by pre-operative radiographs in 50 knees….