When is consultation with a rheumatologist indicated for giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Immediate consultation with a rheumatologist is suggested when initiating high-dose steroid therapy for presumed GCA prior to performance of a temporal artery biopsy (TAB). Therapy should not be delayed if consultation is not available immediately, however.

Rheumatologic consultation also is indicated to consider the need for steroid therapy when biopsy results are negative, but the clinical presentation strongly suggests GCA. The occasional patient with GCA who does not respond adequately to steroid therapy requires a referral for reconsideration of the diagnosis and for other forms of immunosuppressive therapy.


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