Occurrence of giant cell arteritis...suddenly

Brian R. Younge, Cornelia M. Weyand, Jorg J. Goronzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To define the kinetics and mechanisms of frank arteritis onset in patients with giant cell arteritis. Methods: Cytokines were analyzed from tissue of a patient before and after the development of arteritis. Results: A temporal artery biopsy specimen from a patient with giant cell arteritis showed no pathologic changes on microscopic examination, but there was evidence of early tissue activation of inflammatory markers. A specimen from the contralateral artery 12 days later had high levels of IL-18 transcripts and abundant transcripts for CCL19. Also, CD83 and IL-1 were present, confirming that the vascular dendritic cells had fully matured. This second biopsy specimen showed floridly positive giant cell arteritis on histopathologic examination. Conclusions: Partial activation of vascular dendritic cells is typically seen in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica in whom no inflammatory infiltrates are seen on histomorphologic examination. Dendritic cells become activated at an early stage of arteritis, beginning the pathologically evident arteritis, and are fully matured in microscopically florid arteritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalTransactions of the American Ophthalmological Society
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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