STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gout. Light micrograph (LM) of a section of urate crystals in the toe of a gout sufferer. Gout (also known as podagra when it involves the big toe) is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis, a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected (approximately 50% of cases). However, it may also present as tophi (stone under the skin), kidney stones, or urate nephropathy (decrease in kidney function). Gout is due to hyperuricemia (high levels of uric acid in the blood) which is present in 10% of the population, although only half develop gout and deposition of monosodium urate crystals in joints. Magnification: x 150 when printed at 10 centimetres wide. Human tissue.
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