Vol 9, No 3 (2023)
Case report
Published online: 2023-09-29

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Giant cell arteritis: Diagnostic difficulties

Agnieszka Ciba-Stemplewska12, Dorota Krzos3, Anna Kaczmarczyk12, Magdalena Dolecka-Ślusarczyk12, Ewa Pater4, Joanna Roskal-Wałek25
Rheumatology Forum 2023;9(3):149-153.


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common form of vasculitis present in adults. Its symptoms result from ischemia of the areas supplied by the arteries or the severity of the inflammatory reaction: headache, jaw and limb claudication, visual disturbances, blindness, stroke, polymyalgia, and fever. Because of the variety of symptoms, the disease is often overlooked in diagnostics, possibly leading to permanent ischemic complications. The current classification criteria and the gold standard for diagnostics – temporal artery biopsy – apply to the cranial form of the disease. European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology guidelines have systematized diagnostics, based mainly on simple and reproducible ultrasound examination (ultrasonography). Despite the widespread availability of this imaging method, GCA is still diagnosed too late, and therefore the authors analyzed the possible diagnostic difficulties, based on a group of 21 patients.

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