How is Giant Cell Arteritis diagnosed

How is Giant Cell Arteritis diagnosed

What physical exam findings are most helpful in suggesting a diagnosis of GCA?

Several physical abnormalities are somewhat specific for GCA, but most have low sensitivity. Scalp tenderness and temporal artery abnormalities, such as a reduction in the pulse in conjunction with palpable tenderness, are helpful when present. Visual symptoms or signs (diplopia, amaurosis fugax, loss of vision, optic neuritis, or optic atrophy) are also helpful but poorly sensitive. Due to frequent (15%–20%) involvement of the aorta and its primary branches, BP and pulses should be checked in both arms to look for discrepancies (>10 mm Hg difference in systolic BP between arms) and the carotid and subclavian vessels should be auscultated for the presence of bruits.


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