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Respiratory Tract Symptoms as a Clue to Giant Cell Arteritis

T. S. LARSON, M.D.; STEPHEN HALL, M.D.; N. G. G. HEPPER, M.D.; and G. G. HUNDER, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to G.G. Hunder, M.D.; Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic; Rochester, MN 55905.


Rochester, Minnesota


©1984 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(5):594-597. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-101-5-594
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Although many manifestations of giant cell arteritis are increasingly recognized, little attention has been paid to respiratory symptoms associated with this disorder. We report the cases of 16 patients with giant cell arteritis who had prominent symptoms related to the respiratory tract including cough, sore throat, and hoarseness. These symptoms were the initial finding in 10 patients and obscured the diagnosis in some instances, but resolved quickly when corticosteroids were given. It is estimated that 9% of patients with giant cell arteritis have prominent respiratory tract symptoms, which are the initial manifestion in 4%. This disorder should be considered in an older patient with a new cough or throat pain without obvious cause.

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