STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of uric acid crystals from the toe of a gout patient. Gout is a disorder of uric acid metabolism by the kidneys. It can result in deposits of monosodium urate crystals in synovial joints and nearby connective tissues. The deposition of crystals causes local inflammatory swellings (tophi) that are extremely painful. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and changes in diet. Magnification: x1400 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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