(Science: rheumatology) recurrent acute arthritis of peripheral joints caused by the accumulation of monosodium urate crytals. Often presents as pain and swelling confined to one joint. The big toe joint is commonly affected.
The arthritis occurs secondary to an inherited Abnormality of purine metabolism, resulting in the deposition of uric acid crystals (sodium urate) within the joint space and articular cartilage.
Usually due to overproduction of uric acid but may be a result of under excretion. The problems partly arise because neutrophils release lysosomal enzymes as a result of damage to the phagosome membrane by ingested crystals: colchicine acts to reduce the attack by inhibiting lysosome phagosome fusion.