Pericarditis among giant cell arteritis patients: From myth to reality

Shmuel Tiosano, Yehuda Adler, Shir Azrielant, Yarden Yavne, Omer Gendelman, Dana Ben-Ami Shor, Doron Comaneshter, Guy Shalom, Arnon D. Cohen, Howard Amital*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an inflammatory disease of unknown etiology affecting adults age > 50 years. GCA (also known as temporal arteritis) is a vasculitis of large and medium-size vessels that involves the extracranial branches of the carotid artery. Common manifestations include constitutional symptoms, headache, jaw claudication, scalp tenderness, and vision loss. Cardiac involvement in GCA is considered to be as low as 5%, and < 30 cases of pericarditis among GCA patients have been reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between GCA and pericarditis by conducting a cross-sectional study utilizing the database of the largest healthcare provider in Israel. Hypothesis: GCA is associated with pericarditis. Methods: The proportion of past documentation of pericarditis among patients diagnosed with GCA was compared with that of their age- and sex-matched controls. Univariate analysis was performed using the χ2 and t tests; multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression. Results: The study included 4329 GCA patients and 21 611 controls. GCA patients had higher rates of cardiovascular risk factors. Pericarditis was observed in 53 GCA patients and 72 controls (1.22% vs 0.33%, respectively; P < 0.001), significantly higher among GCA patients in comparison with controls. A significant interaction was found between GCA, pericarditis, and young age (<70 years). Conclusions: The study showed an independent association between GCA and pericarditis, especially among young patients. Proper screening should be applied whenever a suspicion arises as to the existence of comorbidity in patients with either disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-627
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Giant Cell Arteritis
  • Inflammation
  • Pericarditis
  • Temporal Arteritis
  • Vasculitis


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