Updates in the Diagnosis and Management of Giant Cell Arteritis

  • Surabhi Uppal
  • Mohanad Hadi
  • Sheetal ChhayaEmail author
Headache (R.B. Halker Singh, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Headache


Purpose of Review

Giant cell arteritis is a systemic large vessel vasculitis that affects the older population and can cause progressive and at times, devastating complications including vision loss. While this has been commonly diagnosed and treated among vasculitides, the treatment options are limited and can have long-term adverse effects. The purpose of our review on GCA is to identify and discuss the pathophysiology and clinical aspects of GCA as they relate to the most recent data. The review will describe any new data on the diagnosis and treatment of this systemic large vessel vasculitis.

Recent Findings

The latest data suggests that the mainstay of treatment of GCA remains glucocorticoids but alternate agents are being identified and used in an attempt to reduce the cumulative exposure to glucocorticoids and reduce treatment-related adverse effects while managing and maintaining remission of this systemic disease.


There is much more information to collect in terms of identification and standardization of the optimal length of time to treat with glucocorticoids as well as regarding the long-term efficacy of alternate treatments. In addition, investigation continues to identify measureable risk factors to predict outcomes of individual patients with this diagnosis.


Giant cell arteritis Polymyalgia rheumatica Chronic glucocorticoid use Tocilizumab Methotrexate 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Surabhi Uppal, Mohanad Hadi, and Sheetal Chhaya each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineSt. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical CenterPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, Division of RheumatologyComprehensive Health CenterPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Paradise ValleyUSA

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