Objective: To study the epidemiology of biopsy-proven giant-cell arteritis (GCA) in an Arab population with clinical features suggestive of GCA.
Methods: Clinical records of 102 patients who underwent temporal artery biopsy (TAB) at King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from January 1983 to December 2004 were reviewed.
Results: Among the 56 men and 46 women who had TAB, 7 (6.8%) had biopsy-proven GCA. The mean (SD) age of the biopsy-positive group (71.7 (8.6) years) was higher than in the biopsy-negative group (65 (9.8) years; p = 0.005). None of the untreated patients with a negative TAB developed additional symptoms that are typical of GCA.
Conclusion: The small absolute number of biopsy-proven cases of GCA implies a relatively low incidence of GCA in Arab population, confirming previous observations that GCA occurs primarily in the Caucasian population.
- AION, anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy
- ESR, erythrocytes sedimentation rate
- GCA, giant cell arteritis
- KKESH, King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital
- TAB, temporal artery biopsy
- VA, visual acuity
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Published Online First 17 January 2007
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