Refractory polyarticular gouty arthritis as a manifestation of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome

Peter J. Sebeny, Michael P. Keith, Kathleen M. Love, Terrence X. Dwyer, Anuradha Ganesan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) describes the initial clinical deterioration some patients manifest upon initiation of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection. In this report we describe a case of IRIS manifesting as polyarticular gout, a previously unreported rheumatological manifestation of IRIS. A 53-year-old HIV-infected man with a history of intermittent attacks of gout and an initial CD4 count of 112 cells/μL and a viral load of >100,000 copies/mL presented to our institution with severe, refractory, polyarticular gout approximately 4 weeks after initiating ART. At this point, the patient demonstrated significant gains in his CD4 counts (103 cells/μL) and a greater than 3 log decline in his HIV-1-viral load. This episode was prolonged lasting for approximately 10 weeks and required hospitalization for the management of pain and control of inflammation. The temporal associations of this attack with the initiation of ART and the observed immunologic reconstitution make IRIS a clinical possibility.Monosodium urate crystals through their interactions with interleukin 1-beta, and neutrophilic synovitis play a critical role in the pathophysiology of gout. Defects in both neutrophil and macrophage function and imbalances in the cytokine milieu are documented in HIV infected patients. The introduction of ART Results in restoration of neutrophil and macrophage function, declines in levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and increases in levels of proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1 beta, which may provide the necessary milieu for the precipitation of attacks of severe polyarticular gout in the context of ART initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-42
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Gout
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Immune reconstitution


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