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Polymyalgia Rheumatica: A Manifestation of Systemic Giant-cell Arteritis

Ann Intern Med. 1967;66(1):77-86. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-66-1-77
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In 1888, Bruce (1), a Scottish physician, described five elderly patients who suffered from widespread muscle pain. He named the disease "senile rheumatic gout," while recognizing the significant difference between gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Since that time, numerous English and European investigators have reported elderly patients suffering from an illness characterized by severe muscle pain. This entity has been given a variety of names, including "myalgic syndrome of the aged with systemic reaction" (2), "senile arthritis" (3), "anarthritic rheumatoid disease" (4), "periarthrosis humeroscapularis" (5), "pseudopolyarthrite rhizomelique" (6), and more recently, "polymyalgia rheumatica" (7).

These reports describe an illness that may


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