Management of giant cell arteritis: Recommendations of the French Study Group for Large Vessel Vasculitis (GEFA)

Rev Med Interne. 2016 Mar;37(3):154-65. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2015.12.015. Epub 2016 Jan 29.


Purpose: Management of giant cell arteritis (GCA, Horton's disease) involves many uncertainties. This work was undertaken to establish French recommendations for GCA management.

Methods: Recommendations were developed by a multidisciplinary panel of 33 physicians, members of the French Study Group for Large Vessel Vasculitis (Groupe d'étude français des artérites des gros vaisseaux [GEFA]). The topics to be addressed, selected from proposals by group members, were assigned to subgroups to summarize the available literature and draft recommendations. Following an iterative consensus-seeking process that yielded consensus recommendations, the degree of agreement among panel members was evaluated with a 5-point Likert scale. A recommendation was approved when ≥ 80% of the voters agreed or strongly agreed.

Results: The 15 retained topics resulted in 31 consensus recommendations focusing on GCA nomenclature and classification, the role of temporal artery biopsy and medical imaging in the diagnosis, indications and search modalities for involvement of the aorta and its branches, the glucocorticoid regimen to prescribe, treatment of complicated GCA, indications for use of immunosuppressants or targeted biologic therapies, adjunctive treatment measures, and management of relapse and recurrence.

Conclusions: The recommendations, which will be updated regularly, are intended to guide and harmonize the standards of GCA management.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Giant cell arteritis; Recommendations; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Committee Membership
  • Consensus
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Expert Testimony
  • France
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / classification
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / complications
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / pathology
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / organization & administration
  • Societies, Medical / organization & administration