GCA and PMR are common diseases in the elderly, particularly in patients of European descent. GCA has pleomorphic symptoms related to the systemic inflammation; and compromise of arterial flow, by vasculitic lesions in particular, can lead to systemic as well as the characteristic head and neck manifestations. It must be distinguished from other systemic diseases including infections and cancer. With proper treatment, patients do well, although a substantial number of patients may suffer permanent visual impairment. Clinical judgment in assessing and in treating GCA is critical to favorable disease outcome.
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