Document Detail

Giant cell arteritis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16626432     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an immune-mediated vasculitis, affecting medium- to large-sized arteries, in individuals over the age of 50 years. Visual loss is a frequent complication of GCA, and once it occurs it tends to be both permanent and profound. Although major advances have been made in recent years in genetics, molecular biology and the description of the vessel wall morphology, the aetiology and pathogenesis of GCA are still incompletely understood. Over the years there has been much debate over whether polymyalgia rheumatica and GCA are separate or linked entities. Recent investigations support that polymyalgia rheumatica and GCA are two different expressions of the same underlying vasculitic disorder. A single cause or aetiological agent has not as yet been identified. Except for the histopathology of the arterial wall, there are no laboratory findings specific for GCA, and no particular signs or symptoms specific for the diagnosis. GCA typically causes vasculitis of the extracranial branches of the aorta and spares intracranial vessels. Transmural inflammation of the arteries induces luminal occlusion through intimal hyperplasia. Clinical symptoms reflect end-organ ischaemia. Branches of the external and internal carotid arteries are particularly susceptible. Corticosteroids remain the only proven treatment for GCA, the regimen initially involving high doses followed by a slow taper. However, early detection and treatment with high-dose corticosteroids is effective in preventing visual deterioration in most patients.
Stuart C Carroll; Brent J Gaskin; Helen V Danesh-Meyer
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical & experimental ophthalmology     Volume:  34     ISSN:  1442-6404     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Experiment. Ophthalmol.     Publication Date:  2006 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-21     Completed Date:  2006-06-12     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100896531     Medline TA:  Clin Experiment Ophthalmol     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  159-73; quiz 194     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Giant Cell Arteritis* / complications,  diagnosis,  therapy
Optic Nerve Diseases / etiology
Retinal Diseases / etiology
Vision Disorders / etiology
Comment In:
Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2006 Mar;34(2):99   [PMID:  16626419 ]

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