|Giant Cell Arteritis|
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- Age: 65 and older
- Sex: female
- Ethnicity: most common in Caucasians, particularly those from northern Europe
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)—a blood test that measures how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. In the case of inflammation, levels of fibrinogen increase in the blood. Fibrinogen makes the red blood cells clump. This makes them fall faster.
- Rheumatoid factor (RF)—a blood test that looks for a specific antibody (RF) in the blood. A positive RF test suggests a condition other than PMR.
- Complete blood count—a blood test that measures the amount of different blood cells present in whole blood. People with PMR often have anemia. This will result in low counts of red blood cells. People with PMR may also have elevated levels of platelets.
- C-reactive protein—a protein produced in the liver. It increases when there is inflammation.
- Muscle biopsy —removal of a sample of muscle tissue for examination (done if GCA has developed)
- Imaging studies—may include ultrasound, CT scan , or MRI of the blood vessels to look for inflammation in the joints (may be noticed in shoulders and hips)
- Physical exam, including vision test
- Biopsy of an affected blood vessel is necessary to confirm the diagnosis
- Corticosteroid medicine
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
American College of Rheumatology http://www.rheumatology.org/
Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/
The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/public/factsheets/pmr%5Fnew2.asp . Accessed March 25, 2007.
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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/polymyalgia/ . Accessed March 25, 2007.
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Polymyalgia rheumatica. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/polymyalgia/ . Accessed January 24, 2012.
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/public/factsheets/pmr%5Fnew2.asp . Accessed January 24, 2012.
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- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 00/31/2013 -
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