Evaluation of revised classification criteria for giant cell arteritis and its clinical phenotypes

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Background: GCA is a systemic vasculitis of the elderly, viewed by many as a disease with multiple and overlapping clinical phenotypes. Retrospective studies have shown differences in clinical presentation between these phenotypes. To reflect the heterogeneity of GCA and novel diagnostic methods, new classification criteria have been proposed. Methods: This is a retrospective study of newly diagnosed patients with GCA at the outpatient rheumatology clinics at Skåne University Hospital (Malmö and Lund) between 2012 and 2018. All patients were evaluated using two sets of classification criteria, the ACR classification criteria from 1990 and a proposed revision of these criteria requiring objective findings (positive biopsy or imaging) for classification. Patients were further classified as one of four widely used clinical phenotypes. Results: A total of 183 patients with a new diagnosis of GCA were identified. The diagnosis was confirmed by one or two experienced rheumatologists in 116 of these patients during a review of medical records. The ACR criteria were more sensitive than the revised criteria (93.1% vs 72.4%), but the revised criteria had higher specificity (94.0% vs 28.4%). The revised criteria tended to have higher sensitivity in the phenotype with constitutional symptoms compared with cranial GCA (P = 0.08). Conclusion: The specificity of the ACR classification criteria for GCA can be improved by using revised criteria requiring objective findings of vasculitis. In addition, the wider symptoms covered by the revised criteria may improve classification of patients with a phenotype characterized by constitutional symptoms.

Sidor (från-till)383-387
Antal sidor5
TidskriftRheumatology (United Kingdom)
StatusPublished - 2022 jan. 1

Bibliografisk information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Reumatologi och inflammation


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