Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystal

Deposition Disease (CPPD)


What is Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystal Deposition Disease?

CPPD is group of conditions related to the formation of calcium crystals in joints, tendons and can result in causing inflammatory arthritis. There are 3 types of calcium that can be deposited in joints, the most common being Calcium PyroPhosphate (CPP). Although just because crystals are present in the joint, it doesn’t always correlate with symptoms.

Acute CPP crystal arthritis was previously known as Pseudogout as its presentation is similar to gout but the crystals are formed of different substances.

Acute CPP crystal arthritis presents with pain, swelling and redness, most commonly in the elderly. Knees are the most commonly affected joints. The crystal formation in and around the joints can cause inflammation resulting in the symptoms felt.

Causes of Acute CPP Crystal Arthritis

Acute CPP crystal arthritis can be caused by genetic and environmental factors. However in the majority of people with this arthritis, no clear cause is found.

Men and women are usually affected equally and it is commoner in those over 60 years.

The most common association of crystal deposition is osteoarthritis (OA).

A number of less common conditions make CPP crystal deposition more likely at a younger age. These include:


 Symptoms of Acute CPP Crystal Arthritis

Joint symptoms:


How do we diagnose CPPD


Joint aspiration:



There are no known treatments to prevent or reduce CPPD, management is based on symptomatic relief of the acute joint when there is a flare.

Resting the affected joint and using ice packs best treats acute CPP crystal arthritis. Medication targeting the pain and inflammation should be taken as quickly as possible when the flare starts:

Often taking off some of the fluid of the larger joints can help relieve the pressure and pain.


Useful Links

Versus Arthritis: