Objective: To compare the clinical features of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR), and to evaluate the criteria proposed by the American College of Rheumatology in our results.
Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis of 90 patients with GCA (n = 57.55 of whom were diagnosed by biops) and PMR (n = 33) diagnosed over the last 10 years.
Results: Headache was present in 45 patients (78.94%) with GCA and in 7 (21.21%) with PMR (p < 0.001); polymyalgic syndrome was observed in 15 patients (26.31%) with GCA and in 33 (100%) with PMR (p < 0.001); jaw or tongue claudication was observed in 14 patients (24.57%) with GCA and in 2 (6.06%) with PMR (p < 0.05), and visual disturbances were only present in 9 patients (15.79%) with GCA. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was > or = 50 mm/h in 84 patients (93.33%), and > or = 100 mm/h in 43 of them (51.19%). The ESR became normal (20 Pounds mm/h) in less of 8 weeks after the treatment was started in 64 patients (76.19%). At the time of diagnosis, 61 patients (61.67%) had anemia, which was severe (Hb < 10 g/dl) in 17 cases (27.86%). After steroid treatment 43 patients (70.49%) improved their anemia in less of 12 weeks, and 25 of them (58.13%) in less of 8 weeks.
Conclusions: The cranial symptoms were predictive for a positive temporal artery biopsy. The anemia and its quick normalization after steroid treatment can help to the diagnostic.