Gout is a disease hallmarked by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. In this condition, crystals of monosodium urate (MSU) or uric acid are deposited on the articular cartilage of joints, tendons and surrounding tissues. It is marked by transient painful attacks of acute arthritis initiated by crystallization of urates within and about the joints and eventually leads to chronic gouty arthritis and the deposition of masses of urates in joints and other sites, creating tophi. Gout results from a combination of prolonged elevation of uric acid and overall acidity in the bloodstream. In isolation, neither elevated uric acid nor acidity is sufficient to cause gout.
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