Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an autoimmune vasculitis affecting large and medium-sized arteries. Ample evidence indicates that GCA is a heterogeneous disease in terms of symptoms, immune pathology, and response to treatment. In the current review, we discuss the evidence for disease subsets in GCA. We describe clinical and immunologic characteristics that may impact the risk of cranial ischemic symptoms, relapse rates, and long-term glucocorticoid requirements in patients with GCA. In addition, we discuss both proven and putative immunologic targets for therapy in patients with GCA who have an unfavorable prognosis. Finally, we provide recommendations for further research on disease subsets in GCA.
© 2018, The Authors Arthritis & Rheumatology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American College of Rheumatology.