Update on polymyalgia rheumatica

Nicolò Pipitone, Carlo Salvarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disease of unknown etiology affecting individuals aged fifty years and older, mainly of Caucasian ethnicity. Polymyalgia rheumatica is associated with giant cell arteritis more frequently than expected by chance alone. In both conditions, females are affected two to three times more often than males. The clinical hallmark manifestations of polymyalgia rheumatica are aching and morning stiffness in the shoulder girdle and often in the pelvic girdle and neck. Serum inflammatory markers are typically elevated, while the most consistent abnormal finding on imaging studies is bursitis in the symptomatic areas. A dramatic response to glucocorticoids is characteristic of polymyalgia rheumatica. Many patients are able to discontinue glucocorticoids six months to two years after the onset of clinical symptoms, but some patients may require longstanding glucocorticoid treatment. Glucocorticoid-sparing agents may be helpful in patients with chronic relapsing courses and those at high risk of glucocorticoid-related adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Bursitis
  • Elderly
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • TNF-α inhibitors
  • Tocilizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Update on polymyalgia rheumatica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this