Clinical and immunogenetic characterization of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)

 Giant Cell Arteritis / Posted 4 years ago

The UK GCA Consortium is a study which aims to find out more about the causes of giant cell arteritis (GCA, sometimes called temporal arteritis) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). We would also like to find out how to predict how severely a person with one of these conditions will be affected. We hope that the findings of this research will help other patients with this condition in the future by leading to the development of better treatments for this disease, with fewer side-effects than the steroid treatment that is currently standard.

Certain variations in the “genetic code” are known to occur naturally within the population. Previous studies have suggested that combinations of certain genes might make someone more likely to develop GCA and PMR, or be more severely affected than others, or respond to treatment in a certain way. If this is true, these findings may give clues as to what causes these diseases and how best to treat them. We also look at cells, proteins (for example, chemical messengers, markers of inflammation and antibodies) and metabolites (for example, small molecules produced during metabolic processes in the body such as converting food to energy) in the blood, and relevant parts of the medical history – such as smoking and blood pressure – which other studies have found may also influence the risk of GCA and PMR. We also record information about patients’ progress over time during their treatment for this condition, as well as long-term outcomes and complications of disease and treatment.

If you are interested in this study please speak to your clinician first about being referred to the study team.


  • Inclusion Criteria : A diagnosis of giant cell arteritis or polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Exclusion Criteria : Unable to provide informed consent
  • Study start date : 01/02/2005
  • Study end date : 01/02/2025
  • Wales-Based Study Contact : Joanna Wilson
  • Principal Investigator : Ceril Rhys-Dillon

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