In a cohort of patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA), large-vessel (LV) abnormalities on first imaging were common, according to recent study. Furthermore, development of new arterial lesions occurred in patients with arterial abnormalities at first imaging, often in the absence of symptoms of active disease. Clinical and imaging data from patients with GCA (including subjects diagnosed by LV imaging) enrolled in a prospective, multicenter, longitudinal study and/or a randomized clinical trial were included (n=187 with GCA; 146 [78%] female, mean [±SD] age at diagnosis 68.5±8.5 years; 39% diagnosed by LV imaging). Researchers found:
- At least 1 arterial lesion was present in 123 (66%) on the first study.
- The most frequently affected arteries were subclavian (42%), axillary (32%), and thoracic aorta (20%).
- In 106 patients (57%) with serial imaging, new arterial lesions were noted in 41 patients (39%), all of whom had a baseline abnormality, over a mean (±SD) follow-up of 4.39 (2.22) years.
- New abnormalities were observed in 33% patients by year 2; clinical features of active disease were present at only 50% of these cases.
Kermani TA, Diab S, Sreih AG, et al. Arterial lesions in giant cell arteritis: A longitudinal study. [Published online ahead of print May 9, 2018]. Semin Arthritis Rheum. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2018.05.002.
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