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What Is CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Deposition Disease)?


Updated May 30, 2014

Definition: CPPD (calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease) is a type of arthritis caused by deposits of calcium phosphate crystals in the joints. CPPD is known by other names including:

  • pseudogout (still commonly used)
  • calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease
  • chondrocalcinosis (calcium deposits in joint spaces)

Calcium deposits found in CPPD, can trigger inflammatory arthritis and joint pain. Risk of a CPPD attack does greatly increase with age. According to American College of Rheumatology, CPPD crystals are present in as many as 50% of people in their 90s, though not everyone will experience symptoms.

CPPD attacks often affect the knees. CPPD can also affect:

Diagnosis and Treatment

Receiving a diagnosis of CPPD is often delayed since symptoms are similar to and mistaken for other arthritic conditions including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. CPPD can often be mistaken as gouty arthritis (gout). However, in gout, the crystal deposits are made up of uric acid, not calcium phosphate. Proper diagnosis depends on analyzing which type of crystal is affecting the joint. Since CPPD is different than gout, treatment of CPPD is not the same as gout. Although, some medications are used to treat both conditions.

Also Known As: pseudogout, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, chondrocalcinosis
Common Misspellings: CPD CPDD COPD
CPPD (Calcium Pyrophosphate Dihydrate Deposition Disease) is also called pseudogout. The acronym CPPD is sometimes mistaken for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).


Pseudogout, American College of Rheumatology, April 2004.

Pseudogout, William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. MedicineNet. 10/30/2005.

What You Need to Know About Pseudogout. The Cleveland Clinic. 11/21/2005.

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