These spiked rods are uric acid crystals photographed under polarized light. Increased uric acid blood levels and formation of uric acid crystals in the joints are associated with gout.
Review Date 4/29/2019
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.