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Genetic epidemiology: Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica

Miguel A Gonzalez-Gay

Author Affiliations

Rheumatology Division, Hospital-Xeral Calde, Lugo, Spain

Arthritis Res 2001, 3:154-157  doi:10.1186/ar293

Published: 26 February 2001


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) are common, frequently related conditions in people generally over 50 years of age. Most studies have shown an association of GCA with HLA-DRB1*04 alleles. As regards isolated PMR, however, the HLA class II genetic susceptibility varies from one population to another. Besides associations with HLA, tumor necrosis factor appears to influence susceptibility to both conditions. Genetic polymorphisms have also been considered to be important candidates as factors of susceptibility to GCA and PMR. In this regard, gene polymorphisms for ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1), RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed, and presumably secreted), and interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist seem to play a role in the pathogenesis of GCA and PMR in some populations. However, additional studies are required to clarify the genetic influence on susceptibility to these conditions.

disease susceptibility; genetic polymorphisms; giant cell arteritis; HLA-DRB1; polymyalgia rheumatica; TNF alpha