Giant-cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica: clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment.

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Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis that affects large and medium-sized vessels and is usually seen in the older adults over 50 years of age. The clinical picture is characterized by a wide range of symptoms from jaw claudication and headache to fever of unknown origin. GCA is frequently accompanied by polymyalgia rheumatica. For many years, temporal artery biopsy has been considered the diagnostic 'gold standard' for GCA. However, today it is usually replaced by noninvasive methods, including ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography. Treatment of GCA depends on the clinical form and severity of the disease and includes oral glucocorticosteroids, that are used in combination with immunosuppressive drugs and tocilizumab. The authors present a patient with Takaysu-like GCA and discuss the clinical symptoms, methods of diagnosis and treatment of GCA.

Key words

Giant cell arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, diagnosis, treatment