Calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease (CPPD), also known as pseudogout, with spinal involvement, is associated with clinical manifestations of acute nerve compression or chronic spinal stenosis. Precipitation of crystals of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate in connective tissues can lead to acute inflammatory arthritis, degenerative chronic arthropathies, and radiographic evidence of cartilage calcification.
We present a case of an 87-year-old woman, with unstudied chronic polyarthralgia and symptomatic orthostatic hypotension. It were documented acute calcium pyrophosphate deposition wrist arthritis, and cervical CT and MRI was suggestive of spinal involvement of CPPD. Workup excluded other causes of OH. Surgical approach could be indicated to minimize the symptoms, but it was contra-indicated due to the patient's performance status, so histological diagnosis was not possible. Muscle atrophy played an important part in the rapid progression of this insidious chronic disease. Conservative and symptomatic treatment achieve scarce short-term clinical improvement.
Spinal involvement of CPPD was thought to be rare but recent studies show a higher prevalence than expected. We call for attention to the extent of structural changes that may occur when not early diagnosed nor treated. High clinical suspicion is required and this is, to our knowledge, the first report of orthostatic hypotension as a presentation of CPPD.