What is the definition of Chondrocalcinosis 2?

Chondrocalcinosis 2 is a rare disease characterized by the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPP) crystals in and around the joints. A buildup of these crystals can lead to joint pain and damage that is progressive (worsens over time). Signs and symptoms of the disease include chronic joint pain or sudden, recurrent episodes of pain, as well as stiffness or swelling of the joints. Chondrocalcinosis 2 is actually a familial form of chondrocalcinosis (also known as calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease or CPPD), which is caused by a similar buildup of CPP crystals but is associated with the aging process. The age-related chondrocalcinosis is quite common, whereas chondrocalcinosis 2 is not. In addition, people with chondrocalcinosis 2 are more likely to have symptoms that develop earlier in adulthood than the age-related form..

Chondrocalcinosis 2 is caused by changes in the ANKH gene. The disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Chondrocalcinosis 2 is diagnosed based on imaging such as X-rays. The diagnosis can be confirmed with genetic testing of the ANKH gene. Treatment may include the use of corticosteroids, pain relievers, and physical therapy. 

What are the alternative names for Chondrocalcinosis 2?

  • CCAL2
  • Chondrocalcinosis familial articular
  • Familial articular chondrocalcinosis
  • Calcium pyrophosphate arthropathy
  • Familial Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition disease
  • Calcium gout
  • Calcium gout, familial
  • Calcium pyrophosphate arthropathy, familial
  • Pseudogout, familial

What are the causes for Chondrocalcinosis 2?

Chondrocalcinosis 2 is caused by changes in the ANKH gene. When a genetic change causes a disease, it is also known as a pathogenic variation. The ANKH gene provides instructions to make a protein that may interact with or regulate other proteins involved in the controlling the formation of calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) mineralization. Mineralization is the process by which calcium and phosphorus form crystals to become part of the bone structure. Although the exact function of the ANKH protein is not known, it is known that the pathogenic variation in the ANKH gene allows too many CPP crystals to build up in the cartilage of joints. The buildup of crystals weakens the cartilage and causes it to break down more easily, leading to the joint pain and other symptoms associated with chondrocalcinosis 2.

What are the symptoms for Chondrocalcinosis 2?

Some people with chondrocalcinosis 2 may not have any symptoms of the disease other than showing calcium deposits in and around joints on X-rays. Others may experience symptoms such as joint pain and swelling and difficulty moving the joints. These symptoms can be similar to the symptoms of arthritis or gout, and they may be described as “pseudoarthritis” or “pseudogout.”

The symptoms can be chronic (occurring all the time) or may occur in sudden episodes. If the pain occurs in episodes, it can last anywhere from several hours to several weeks. In some cases, episodes of pain may cause fevers. The attack may affect only one joint or multiple joints. Joints that are most commonly affected include the knees, wrists, hips, or shoulders. Some people with chondrocalcinosis 2 may experience pain in the back if calcium deposits develop around the bones of the spine.

What are the current treatments for Chondrocalcinosis 2?

There is currently no cure for chondrocalcinosis 2. However, therapies are available to manage the signs and symptoms of the disease. During episodes of joint pain, stiffness, or swelling, the following treatments may be recommended to relieve symptoms:
  • Joint aspiration (draining of fluid from the affected joint)
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin or ibuprofen
For people who have frequent episodes of pain or for whom other medications are not effective, small doses of a medication called colchicine may be recommended. However, this medication has side effects and may not help everyone with chondrocalcinosis 2.

In some cases, people with chondrocalcinosis 2 may be required to wear a splint or brace to prevent too much movement. In other cases, physical therapy may be recommended for safe movement of the affected joint.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Chondrocalcinosis 2?

For some people with chondrocalcinosis 2, medications and other therapies work well to treat signs and symptoms of the disease. For others, the buildup of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate (CPP) crystals is severe and can cause pain that is not relieved with treatment. At this time there is, unfortunately, no way to prevent or remove the buildup of CPP crystals in the joints. In some cases, the pain associated with chondrocalcinosis 2 can be severe and very disabling.

Is Chondrocalcinosis 2 an inherited disorder?

Chondrocalcinosis 2 is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This means that people with chondrocalcinosis 2 have a disease-causing change (pathogenic variation) in only one copy of the ANKH gene in each cell of the body. Most genes, including the ANKH gene, come in pairs, and a person inherits one copy of each gene from their mother and the other from their father.

When a person with chondrocalcinosis 2 has children, each child has a:
  • 50% chance to inherit the changed copy of ANKH, meaning they may develop chondrocalcinosis 2
  • 50% chance to inherit the working copy of ANKH, meaning they will not develop chondrocalcinosis 2
In some cases, a person with chondrocalcinosis 2 inherits the disease from an affected parent. In other cases, the pathogenic variation that causes the disease is new (de novo) in the affected person, and there is no history of the disease in the family.  However, a person with a new pathogenic variation in the ANKH gene has a 50% chance of passing this disease-causing change on to each of his or her children. 

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