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Cytokines in Polymyalgia and Giant Cell Arteritis

John A. Getsy, DMD, DO; and S. Michael Phillips, MD
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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Philadelphia, PA 19104 Requests for Reprints: S. Michael Phillips, MD, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Division of Allergy and Immunology, 3 Silverstein, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1994;121(7):536-537. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-121-7-199410010-00010
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Although it has been postulated that giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica are a continuum of the same HLA-DR-associated disease process, the exact relation between the two conditions is still unknown. Giant cell arteritis is a well-characterized clinical entity. Histopathologic studies show a granulomatous, inflammatory reaction with a dense mononuclear leukocytic infiltration in the intima and media of large- and medium-sized arteries, along with giant cell infiltration of the internal elastic lamina [1]. Polymyalgia rheumatica is diagnosed primarily by clinical presentation of characteristic muscle pain and stiffness in the proximal portions of the extremities and torso, by increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and by response to glucocorticoids [2], but it has no pathognomonic histopathologic characteristics.

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