Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) are related conditions occurring almost exclusively in older people. Polymyalgia rheumatica is considered to be the rheumatic disease that is subject to the widest variations of clinical practice, partially due to the considerable uncertainty related to diagnosis and outcomes. Giant cell arteritis, an inflammatory form of vasculitis, may present with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and can be complicated by acute ischemic events, the most serious of which is permanent blindness. Early recognition and adequate treatment of the condition is thus necessary to prevent patients' loss of independence and to maintain their quality of life.
Part of the Oxford Rheumatology Library series, Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis provides quick and practically relevant information on several aspects of the diseases, particularly on diagnosis and management, with the ultimate aim of improving the patient's care. Chapters highlight current concepts of pathogenesis, recent advances of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, and the ongoing research into the identification of new biomarkers and corticosteroid-sparing medications. Each chapter is complemented with key message boxes highlighting the most relevant information for clinical practice. This concise but comprehensive reference is particularly suited for rheumatologists, general practitioners, and other professionals caring for patients with PMR and GCA.