JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-DENIS LAREDO, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-ray of the fingers of a patient with gout. Gout is a disorder of uric acid metabolism by the kidneys. It can result in deposits of monosodium urate crystals in joints and nearby connective tissues. The deposition of crystals causes local inflammatory swellings (tophi, swollen areas) that are extremely painful. The phalanges (finger bones) can be damaged, as seen here. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and changes in diet.
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