Key takeaways for HM
- Know the differential diagnosis of acute monoarticular arthritis and how the synovial fluid will vary depending on the diagnosis.
- Gout can manifest in other joints besides the first toe. One can use allopurinol even in the acute setting. The goal is to attain a uric acid level of less than 6.0.
- Pseudogout should be considered in patients older than 70 years with acute arthritis. There is no allopurinol equivalent for chronic management.
- Positive ANAs are common, but they do not make the diagnosis of SLE (although a negative ANA generally does rule out SLE).
- SLE is a clinical diagnosis that requires multiple symptoms and findings to make the diagnosis. Please refer to the ACR classification criteria.
- Think of vasculitis in terms of small versus large vessel disease and think of the differential diagnosis as to the etiology (realizing that 33%-50% will end up being idiopathic).
- Chikungunya is mosquito-borne and associated with severe joint pains, headaches, and fevers but can also have joint swelling. While often acute, the symptoms can last for up to a year. Treatment is symptomatic management.
- Think of IgG4-related disease in patients with pancreatitis without the usual causes (alcohol, gallstones). Diagnosis is based on pathology and IgG4 levels. Treatment is with steroids and/or rituximab.
Dr. Kim is a hospitalist who works at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and is an editorial board member of The Hospitalist.