To differentiate gout (sodium urate crystals) from pseudogout (calcium pyrophosphate crystals). These crystals are detected by polarized light microscopy with the addition of a first order red compensator that alters the passage of light into slow and fast components. The line on the compensator shows the vibration direction of the slower component. Sodium urates can be present in gout. The calcium pyrophosphates can be present in pseudogout.
Submit entire specimen
A sample with no preservative is preferred for the crystal ID, however, if both a cell count and crystal ID is ordered and there is not enough sample, both tests can be performed off of an EDTA tube.
Refrigerated (strict) - 48 hrs
Polarized microscopic examination
No crystals seen