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February 1986

Aortic Arch Arteritis in the Elderly: An Important Manifestation of Giant Cell Arteritis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Rheumatology, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(2):289-291. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360140107015

• Five elderly patients with aortic arch syndrome secondary to large-vessel vasculitis all presented with upper-extremity claudication and absence of blood pressure and pulses in the affected extremity. Diagnosis was suspected by a markedly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate associated with constitutional symptoms and angiograms showing changes consistent with arteritis of the aortic arch vessels. Treatment with high-dose corticosteroids resulted in rapid resolution of constitutional symptoms and improved functional use of the upper extremity. Recognition of this steroid-responsive disease is essential to avoid unnecessary reconstructive surgery and to prevent catastrophic events such as aortic dissection or visual loss, which may result from the underlying disease process.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:289-291)

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