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Diagnosis and management of giant cell arteritis

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) – also known as temporal arteritis with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) – is the most common form of vasculitis and among the most common reasons for long-term steroid prescription. It is a critical ischaemic disease and should be treated as a medical emergency. Visual loss occurs in up to a fifth of patients, but this may be preventable by prompt recognition and treatment.

This concise guideline provides a framework for disease assessment, immediate treatment and referral to specialist care, and is aimed at general practitioners, general physicians and rheumatologists. It's purpose is to draw attention to the full guidelines, with the aim of encouraging the prompt diagnosis and urgent management of GCA, therefore minimising vision loss.

This guideline was also published in Clinical Medicine, volume 10 issue 4.