Table 1

Baseline clinical, laboratory and follow-up data of patients with giant cell arteritis

   Cohort 1   Cohort 2  Pooled cohorts
Age, median (range) years80 (57–92)79 (63–89)80 (57–92)
Gender, male/female, n10/328/2618/58
Clinical data at diagnosis
 Duration of symptoms, median (range) days35 (8–365)56 (10–728)45 (8–728)
 Cranial symptoms (%)7985.582
  Scalp tenderness42.53840.5
  Jaw claudication49.53843.5
 Stroke/visual events (%)*9/243/23.56/24
 Systemic symptoms (%)69.567.568.5
  Weight loss404140.5
 Polymyalgia rheumatica (%)244736
Laboratory findings at diagnosis
 ESR, mm/1 hour90±3490±2990±31
 CRP, mg/dL10.9±8.68.7±8.59.7±8.1
 Haemoglobin, mg/dL115±18114±13115±15
 IL-6, pg/mL58.76±58.6442.11±38.9351.27±50.82
Strong SIR (%)2735.531.5
Relapses† (%)
 ≥1 relapse565354
 ≥2 relapses19.523.520.5
Glucocorticoid treatment
 Time to <10 mg daily, median (range) weeks29 (12–51)27 (12–172)28 (12–172)
 Time to <5 mg/day, median (range) weeks79 (48–154)105 (23–423)92 (23–423)
 Cumulated dose at treatment withdrawal, mean±SD (mg)5875±6745370±9625457±930
  • Strong SIR was defined as the presence of ≥3 of the following: ESR ≥85 mm/hour, haemoglobin <110 g/L, fever >37°C and weight loss >3 kg as described.25

  • *Visual events include diplopia and visual loss due to anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy.

  • †Relapses were clinically defined as depicted in the Materials and methods section and, except for three patients, were always accompanied by a rebound in ESR and CRP.

  • CRP, C reactive protein; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; IL-6, interleukin 6; SIR, systemic inflammatory response.