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.
A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine (5/30/2011).