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Hospitalization due to ocular manifestations in giant cell arteritis often happen before diagnosis

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Amongst patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA), most cases of ocular manifestations leading to hospital contact occur close to or before initial GCA diagnosis, according to a study.

Overall, 14,574 patients with GCA were included in this study. Amongst those included, 1026 had ocular manifestations within ±1 year of being diagnosed, with 38% of cases happening before diagnosis, 62% after diagnosis, and 73% within ±1 month of the diagnosis.

Ocular manifestations included retinal vascular occlusions in 33%, disorders of the optic nerve in 29%, visual impairment in 17%, diplopia in 9%, and amaurosis fugax in 12%.

Cumulative incidence proportions (CIPs) for ocular manifestations after 3-, 6-, and 12-months following diagnosis were 4.0%, 4.2%, and 4.6%, respectively. The 1-year relative risks of ocular manifestations were 28.0, with age above 70 years, male sex, and a positive temporal artery biopsy being risk factors. Use of low-dose aspirin not associated with a reduced 1-year relative risk of incident ocular manifestations.

Reference
Therkildsen P, de Thurah A, Faurschou M, et al. A nationwide study of ocular manifestations leading to hospital contacts among patients with giant cell arteritis. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2022;56:152071. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152071. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35878473.

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