Giant Cell Arteritis
Paul Rousseau, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1994;3(7):628-632.
Giant cell arteritis is a form of vasculitis affecting medium- and large-size arteries, with a predilection for vessels arising from the aortic arch. The origins of giant cell arteritis are unknown. However, ethnic affinities are prominent, with the majority of cases involving white, elderly patients. In addition, there is evidence of a familial pattern and an association with HLA-DR4, suggesting a genetic predisposition in select cases. With an increase in the elderly population, clinicians must become cognizant of this age-related malady and its treatment to ensure quality care for elderly patients.
From the Department of Geriatrics, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Phoenix, Ariz, and the Department of Adult Development and Aging, Arizona State University, Tempe.