Research Topic

Urate Crystals: Beyond Joints

About this Research Topic

Gout is associated with significant increases in morbidity and mortality. Independent associations have been demonstrated with several comorbidities including atherosclerotic disease, renal failure, atrial fibrillation, and more, yet the underlying link remains to be established. Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals - the cornerstone of gout - are found in joints and periarticular structures, leading to acute attacks, joint damage and tophi. Anecdotally, these crystals are also found in other tissues such as the cardiovascular tree, renal medulla, and gut, and could thus explain the link between gout and its varying comorbidities. Advanced imaging - in particular high-resolution ultrasound and dual-energy CT – has proven useful to identify and quantify MSU crystal deposits, and preliminary works indicate a potential for assessing this non-musculoskeletal deposition.

Further research in this area is highly required in order to establish whether:

1) MSU crystal deposition is constant;
2) MSU crystal deposition exerts a pathogenic role in the extra-articular system (especially as crystal deposition is reversible with proper control of hyperuricemia);
3) Local and systemic MSU-driven inflammation, or other mechanisms, contribute to the occurrence of morbidity and mortality in gout.

In this Research Topic, we call for laboratory, translational and clinical research aiming to increase knowledge in the aforementioned areas.


M. Andres declares speaking and advisory fees from Grunenthal, Horizon and Menarini.
T. Pascart declares speaking and advisory fees from Novartis and research grants from Horizon.
F. Becce declares personal consulting fees from Horizon Therapeutics

All other Topic Editors declare no Conflicts of Interest


Keywords: Gout, Monosodium Urate, Imaging, Crystal Deposition, Extra-articular


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Gout is associated with significant increases in morbidity and mortality. Independent associations have been demonstrated with several comorbidities including atherosclerotic disease, renal failure, atrial fibrillation, and more, yet the underlying link remains to be established. Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals - the cornerstone of gout - are found in joints and periarticular structures, leading to acute attacks, joint damage and tophi. Anecdotally, these crystals are also found in other tissues such as the cardiovascular tree, renal medulla, and gut, and could thus explain the link between gout and its varying comorbidities. Advanced imaging - in particular high-resolution ultrasound and dual-energy CT – has proven useful to identify and quantify MSU crystal deposits, and preliminary works indicate a potential for assessing this non-musculoskeletal deposition.

Further research in this area is highly required in order to establish whether:

1) MSU crystal deposition is constant;
2) MSU crystal deposition exerts a pathogenic role in the extra-articular system (especially as crystal deposition is reversible with proper control of hyperuricemia);
3) Local and systemic MSU-driven inflammation, or other mechanisms, contribute to the occurrence of morbidity and mortality in gout.

In this Research Topic, we call for laboratory, translational and clinical research aiming to increase knowledge in the aforementioned areas.


M. Andres declares speaking and advisory fees from Grunenthal, Horizon and Menarini.
T. Pascart declares speaking and advisory fees from Novartis and research grants from Horizon.
F. Becce declares personal consulting fees from Horizon Therapeutics

All other Topic Editors declare no Conflicts of Interest


Keywords: Gout, Monosodium Urate, Imaging, Crystal Deposition, Extra-articular


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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