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GCA is a chronic vasculitis of large vessels, predominantly affecting cranial arteries. However, it is a systemic illness and vascular involvement might be widespread. Mean age of onset is about 70; it is very rare before 50 years of age.
Referral and diagnostic protocol for suspected Giant Cell Arthritis (GCA).
Any other acute Rheumatology condition.
Patients with GCA will typically be over 50 with at least 2 of the above symptoms or signs
CRP, Plasma viscosity, FBC, U&E, LFTs,
Pathway for assessment, investigation and acute management of Giant Cell Arteritis - flow chart
Patient with suspected GCA
Do they have visual symptoms?
1. Within working hours (Mon-Fri 9-5): Call 07775 407925 to discuss the case with the on-call rheumatologist.
2. Out of hours: Leave a message on the phone AND e-mail with the patient's details and a brief message.
3. If your patient has ophthalmic symptoms refer to the on-call ophthalmologist on 07818 562917 (out of hours via switch board)
4. Arrange urgent bloods including FBC, U+Es and inflammatory markers (CRP/PV/ESR) if not already done.
5. Regardless of visual symptoms please start your patient on:
SDHCT Consultant Rheumatologists:
Dr R Winfield , Dr C Gywnne
Publication date: November 2018