Geographical and Genetic Factors Do Not Account for Significant Differences in the Clinical Spectrum of Giant Cell Arteritis in Southern Europe

Miguel A. Gonzalez-Gay, Luigi Boiardi, Carlos Garcia-Porrua, Pierluigi Macchioni, Juan C. Amor-Dorado, Carlo Salvarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To investigate whether genetic and geographical differences may influence the clinical spectrum of giant cell arteritis (GCA), we compared the demographic and clinical features of patients with biopsy-proven GCA from Reggio Emilia (Northern Italy) and Lugo (Northwest Spain) during a 15-year period. Methods. We performed a retrospective review of the case records of all patients diagnosed with biopsy-proven GCA at Hospital Xeral-Calde (Lugo, Spain) and Hospital Santa Maria Nuova (Reggio Emilia, Italy) between 1 January 1986 and 31 December 2001. Both hospitals are the only referral centers for populations living in central Galicia and central Emilia Romagna, respectively. Results. During the period of study, 194 Lugo residents and 126 Reggio Emilia residents were diagnosed with biopsy proven GCA. Reggio Emilia patients were more likely to be female (74% vs 54%; p = 0.0001). Although Lugo patients complained of headache (86%) more commonly than did those from Reggio Emilia (77%), the difference was only marginally significant (p = 0.05). The proportion of patients with visual manifestations or visual loss was remarkably similar (22% for visual manifestations and 17% for visual loss in Lugo and 29% and 21% for Reggio Emilia residents). The mean erythrocyte sedimentation rate prior to the onset of therapy was also similar. Conclusion. Apart from differences in sex, the clinical spectrum of GCA in these 2 Southern European regions was similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-523
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Lugo
  • Reggio emilia
  • Temporal artery biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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