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Clinical investigation 

Clinical investigation
Chapter:
Clinical investigation
Author(s):

Michael Doherty

and Peter C. Lanyon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.1903
Page of

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date: 17 October 2017

Laboratory and imaging markers are an adjunct to competent clinical assessment and should not be used as a substitute. Tests should only be ordered if the results will alter diagnosis, prognosis, or clinical management.

Synovial fluid examination—this is the key investigation to confirm the diagnosis of either acute crystal or septic arthritis. Fluid can usually be obtained by direct aspiration from any peripheral joint, or alternatively under ultrasound guidance. The identification of crystals requires compensated polarized light microscopy....

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