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24.09.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2019 Open Access

Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) 2/2019

Differences in clinical manifestations and prognosis of Chinese giant cell arteritis patients with or without polymyalgia rheumatica

Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) > Ausgabe 2/2019
Yun Zhang, Dongmei Wang, Xiaotian Chu, Wen Zhang, Xuejun Zeng



The symptoms of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) frequently overlap in the elderly. Whether there are differences in clinical features or prognosis between GCA patients with or without PMR remains unknown.


To identify differences in clinical manifestation and prognosis between Chinese GCA patients with or without PMR.


A retrospective study of patients diagnosed with GCA in Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) during the last 20 years was conducted. Clinical data was collected and analyzed accordingly, and follow-up was performed.


A total of 50 patients had PMR, while 41 patients did not, with no significant differences in age, gender, and disease course between the two groups. GCA patients with PMR presented with higher risks of family history of malignancy (p = 0.048). Patients without PMR had higher proportion of hearing loss (p = 0.006), ANCA positive (p = 0.024), and abnormal imaging findings illustrating the involvement of arteries under aortic arch (p = 0.018). Before treatment, total lymphocyte counts in patients without PMR were lower than those with PMR, and monocyte counts in both groups were higher than normal. Acute phase reactants in patients without PMR were higher than the other group. No significant differences were found in prognosis during follow-up.


GCA patients with or without PMR have different clinical characteristics. Patients with PMR present myalgia or arthralgia more frequently, while those without PMR have higher inflammatory markers, lower lymphocyte counts, and wider involvement of arteries under aortic arch.

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