Glucocorticoid usage in giant cell arteritis over six decades (1950 to 2009)

A. Chandran, Pr D. Udayakumar, T. A. Kermani, K. J. Warrington, C. S. Crowson, E. L. Matteson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the trends in glucocorticoid (GC) therapy in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA).

METHODS: Using a population-based inception cohort, GC therapy details were collected for all patients with GCA diagnosed between 1950-2009. GC usage for patients diagnosed with GCA between 1980-2009 was compared to those diagnosed between 1950-1979.

RESULTS: The mean starting dose was similar in both time-periods but the mean cumulative dosages at different time points were significantly higher for patients diagnosed between 1980-2009 than in 1950-1979 (at 1-year: 6.3 vs. 4.1g; and at 5 years 10.7 vs. 7.6g, respectively, p<0.001). The median time to permanent discontinuation of GC was 2.6 years for 1980-2009 vs. 1.5 years for 1950-1979 (p=0.004). The risk for GC-associated adverse events was similar in both time periods (p=0.52).

CONCLUSIONS: GCA patients diagnosed in the last three decades were treated with higher cumulative GC doses and were less likely to achieve GC discontinuation. However, their risks for GC-related complications were not significantly higher than their earlier counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S-98-102
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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