False colour scanning electron micrograph of needle-like crystals of sodium urate collected from a tophus (hard deposit of crystalline uric acid & its salts) from a patient with gout (gouty arthritis). Gout is a disease in which a defect in uric acid metabolism causes an excess of the acid & its salts (sodium urate) to accumulate in the bloodstream and the joints. These collect in the joint capsules causing an acute inflammation, with accompanying swelling, redness & pain. Gout is associated with "excessive living". Treatment involves the use of drugs & a warning against rich food & alcohol. Magnification: X173 at 35mm size. Original is BW print M165/021.
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