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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 14

J Clin Med



Predictive Factors of Giant Cell Arteritis in Polymyalgia Rheumatica Patients.


Ramon A, Greigert H, Ornetti P, Maillefert J-F, Bonnotte B, Samson M
J Clin Med. 2022 Dec 14; 11(24).
PMID: 36556036.


Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory rheumatism of the shoulder and pelvic girdles. In 16 to 21% of cases, PMR is associated with giant cell arteritis (GCA) that can lead to severe vascular complications. Ruling out GCA in patients with PMR is currently a critical challenge for clinicians. Two GCA phenotypes can be distinguished: cranial GCA (C-GCA) and large vessel GCA (LV-GCA). C-GCA is usually suspected when cranial manifestations (temporal headaches, jaw claudication, scalp tenderness, or visual disturbances) occur. Isolated LV-GCA is more difficult to diagnose, due to the lack of specificity of clinical features which can be limited to constitutional symptoms and/or unexplained fever. Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated the existence-in varying proportions-of subclinical GCA in patients with apparently isolated PMR features. In PMR patients, the occurrence of clinical features of C-GCA (new onset temporal headaches, jaw claudication, or abnormality of temporal arteries) are highly predictive of C-GCA. Additionally, glucocorticoids' resistance occurring during follow-up of PMR patients, the occurrence of constitutional symptoms, or acute phase reactants elevation are suggestive of associated GCA. Research into the predictive biomarkers of GCA in PMR patients is critical for selecting PMR patients for whom imaging and/or temporal artery biopsy is necessary. To date, Angiopoietin-2 and MMP-3 are powerful for predicting GCA in PMR patients, but these results need to be confirmed in further cohorts. In this review, we discuss the diagnostic challenges of subclinical GCA in PMR patients and will review the predictive factors of GCA in PMR patients.