Recent advances in the clinical management of giant cell arteritis and Takayasu arteritis

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Purpose of review This article critically reviews the advances in medical management of giant cell arteritis (GCA) and Takayasu arteritis (TAK) with a focus on recent developments in targeted biologic therapy. Recent findings The role of biologics in the treatment of large vessel vasculitis (LVV) is expanding. TNFa inhibitors appear to be effective in the treatment of TAK but have little benefit in GCA. Preliminary clinical trial data suggest that abatacept and tocilizumab reduce the risk of relapse in GCA. Increasing observational evidence supports the use of interleukin-6 inhibitors in TAK. Based on a small open-label study, ustekinumab appears safe and potentially effective for refractory GCA. A possible role of B cell dysregulation may contribute to pathogenic mechanisms in LVV, but support for the use of B cell depleting therapy is limited. Summary Interleukin-6 inhibitors appear efficacious in the treatment of refractory cases of LVV; however, utility in newly diagnosed immunosuppressive-naýve patients is less well established. Abatacept and ustekinumab are promising targets for therapy in LVV but further investigation is needed before routine use is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Abatacept
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Tocilizumab
  • Ustekinumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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