Review: What Is the Current Evidence for Disease Subsets in Giant Cell Arteritis?

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Sep;70(9):1366-1376. doi: 10.1002/art.40520. Epub 2018 Jul 30.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / immunology
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / immunology*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors


  • Glucocorticoids