Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis--An ophthalmic emergency. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The occurrence of giant cell arteritis (GCA) in the setting of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is not uncommon. It is imperative to recognise the symptoms and signs of GCA in this setting as the treatment of PMR with low dose corticosteroids will not protect the patient against the blinding consequences of GCA. OBJECTIVE: This article reports the case of a woman with PMR who developed sudden and irreversible vision loss due to GCA. DISCUSSION: It is important to recognise GCA in patients with PMR before the onset of permanent visual disability. A rising erythrocyte sedimentation rate in such patients may herald the onset of GCA. Other risk factors for GCA include age over 50 years, female gender, symptoms of ischaemia, and temporal artery abnormalities on examination. The latter two features warrant urgent ophthalmic or rheumatological review.

published proceedings

  • Aust Fam Physician

author list (cited authors)

  • Durkin, S. R., Athanasiov, P. A., & Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Durkin, Shane R||Athanasiov, Paul A||Crompton, John L

publication date

  • November 2006