Disease pattern in cranial and large-vessel giant cell arteritis.
OBJECTIVE: To identify variables that distinguish large-vessel giant cell arteritis (GCA) with subclavian/axillary/brachial artery involvement from cranial GCA. METHODS: Seventy-four case patients with subclavian/axillary GCA diagnosed by angiography and 74 control patients with temporal artery biopsy-proven GCA without large vessel involvement matched for the date of first diagnosis were identified. Pertinent initial symptoms, time delay until diagnosis, and clinical symptoms, as well as clinical and laboratory findings at the time of diagnosis, were recorded by retrospective chart review. Expression of cytokine messenger RNA in temporal artery tissue from patients with large-vessel and cranial GCA was determined by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. Distribution of disease-associated HLA-DRB1 alleles in patients with aortic arch syndrome and cranial GCA was assessed. RESULTS: The clinical presentation distinguished patients with large-vessel GCA from those with classic cranial GCA. Upper extremity vascular insufficiency dominated the clinical presentation of patients with large-vessel GCA, whereas symptoms related to impaired cranial blood flow were infrequent. Temporal artery biopsy findings were negative in 42% of patients with large-vessel GCA. Polymyalgia rheumatica occurred with similar frequency in both patient groups. Large-vessel GCA was associated with higher concentrations of interleukin-2 gene transcripts in arterial tissue and overrepresentation of the HLA-DRB1*0404 allele, indicating differences in pathogenetic mechanisms. CONCLUSION: GCA is not a single entity but includes several variants of disease. Large-vessel GCA produces a distinct spectrum of clinical manifestations and often occurs without involvement of the cranial arteries. Large-vessel GCA requires a different approach to the diagnosis and probably also to treatment. (+info)
Decreased CGRP, but preserved Trk A immunoreactivity in nerve fibres in inflamed human superficial temporal arteries.
The peptidergic sensory innervation of cranial blood vessels may play an important part in vascular head pain. The neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P in sensory fibres are dependent on nerve growth factor (NGF) produced by the blood vessels, and when released from nerve terminals mediate neurogenic inflammation. NGF is increased in inflamed tissues, and acts via its high affinity receptor trk A on nociceptor fibres to produce hyperalgesia. CGRP and trk A immunoreactive nerve fibres have therefore been studied, for the first time, in inflamed (n=7) and non-inflamed (n=10) temporal arteries biopsied from patients with headache and suspected giant cell arteritis. CGRP immunoreactivity was markedly decreased to absent in adventitial nerve fibres in inflamed regions of vessels, which may reflect secretion from nerve terminals, as CGRP immunoreactivity could still be seen in nerve trunks in periadventitial tissue. Trk A immunoreactive nerve fibres were found in a similar distribution to CGRP containing nerve fibres in non-inflamed vessels, and the trk A immunoreactivity was virtually unchanged in inflamed vessels. The evidence supports a role for NGF related mechanisms in inflammatory vascular head pain. Anti-NGF or anti-trk A agents may represent novel analgesics in this condition. (+info)
Scleritis and temporal arteritis.
Thirty consecutive patients with severe scleritis or episcleritis were admitted as in-patients to the Medical Ophthalmology Unit and assessed for systemic disease. There were seventeen women and thirteen men. The mean age was 53 with a median of 57 (range 23-83). Eighteen of the patients had scleritis: eleven of these had evidence of connective tissue disease and three of them had temporal arteritis. Twelve patients had episcleritis: six of them had a collagen disease and one of them developed temporal arteritis. This high incidence of temporal arteritis in association with scleritis has not been previously reported. It is important to diagnose and treat overt temporal arteritis early with parenteral steroids so that ischaemic papillopathy can be avoided. A higher incidence of collagen diseases than previously described is reported in episcleritis. It is thought that this is secondary to selection since patients with the usual self-limiting episcleritis are not normally referred for further in-patient investigation. In no patient was more than one significant diagnosis made. There was no significant medical illness in only 11% of patients with scleritis and 33% of patients with episcleritis. The majority of the non-collagen diseases (e.g. hypertension) were not previously recognized. In none of the patients with temporal arteritis was the diagnosis made before admission. It is concluded that full examination and investigation for underlying disease is indicated in both scleritis and severe episcleritis. (+info)
Aldose reductase functions as a detoxification system for lipid peroxidation products in vasculitis.
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis preferentially affecting large and medium-sized arteries. Inflammatory infiltrates in the arterial wall induce luminal occlusion with subsequent ischemia and degradation of the elastic membranes, allowing aneurysm formation. To identify pathways relevant to the disease process, differential display-PCR was used. The enzyme aldose reductase (AR), which is implicated in the regulation of tissue osmolarity, was found to be upregulated in the arteritic lesions. Upregulated AR expression was limited to areas of tissue destruction in inflamed arteries, where it was detected in T cells, macrophages, and smooth muscle cells. The production of AR was highly correlated with the presence of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), a toxic aldehyde and downstream product of lipid peroxidation. In vitro exposure of mononuclear cells to HNE was sufficient to induce AR production. The in vivo relationship of AR and HNE was explored by treating human GCA temporal artery-severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mouse chimeras with the AR inhibitors Sorbinil and Zopolrestat. Inhibition of AR increased HNE adducts twofold and the number of apoptotic cells in the arterial wall threefold. These data demonstrate that AR has a tissue-protective function by preventing damage from lipid peroxidation. We propose that AR is an oxidative defense mechanism able to neutralize the toxic effects of lipid peroxidation and has a role in limiting the arterial wall injury mediated by reactive oxygen species. (+info)
Tissue-destructive macrophages in giant cell arteritis.
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is an inflammatory vasculopathy in which T cells and macrophages infiltrate the wall of medium and large arteries. Clinical consequences such as blindness and stroke are related to arterial occlusion. Formation of aortic aneurysms may result from necrosis of smooth muscle cells and fragmentation of elastic membranes. The molecular mechanisms of arterial wall injury in GCA are not understood. To identify mechanisms of arterial damage, gene expression in inflamed and unaffected temporal artery specimens was compared by differential display polymerase chain reaction. Genes differentially expressed in arterial lesions included 3 products encoded by the mitochondrial genome. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies specific for a 65-kDa mitochondrial antigen revealed that increased expression of mitochondrial products was characteristic of multinucleated giant cells and of CD68+ macrophages that cluster in the media and at the media-intima junction. 4-Hydroxy-2-nonenal adducts, products of lipid peroxidation, were detected on smooth muscle cells and on tissue infiltrating cells, in close proximity to multinucleated giant cells and CD68+ macrophages. Also, giant cells and macrophages with overexpression of mitochondrial products were able to synthesize metalloproteinase-2. Our data suggest that in the vascular lesions characteristic for GCA, a subset of macrophages has the potential to support several pathways of arterial injury, including the release of reactive oxygen species and the production of metalloproteinase-2. This macrophage subset is topographically defined and is also identified by overexpression of mitochondrial genes. Because these macrophages have a high potential to promote several mechanisms of arterial wall damage, they should be therapeutically targeted to prevent blood vessel destruction. (+info)
Biopsy proven and biopsy negative temporal arteritis: differences in clinical spectrum at the onset of the disease. Groupe de Recherche sur l'Arterite a Cellules Geantes.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical features of biopsy proven and negative biopsy temporal arteritis at the time of diagnosis and during a three year follow up. METHODS: Newly diagnosed cases of giant cell arteritis were included in a prospective, multicentre study. Initial clinical and biological features, season of diagnosis, and cardiovascular events occurring during the follow up were recorded. Biopsy proven and negative biopsy cases were compared. RESULTS: Two hundred and seven biopsy proven, and 85 negative biopsy cases were included from 1991 to 1997. Fifty eight per cent of the biopsy proven cases, compared with 39.29% of the negative biopsy cases, were diagnosed during the autumn or winter (p = 0.003). Visual problems (31.5%, v 19.1%, p = 0.031), blindness (9.7% v 2.38%, p = 0.033), jaw claudication (40.8%, v 28.243%, p = 0.044), and temporal artery palpation abnormalities (61.3% v 29.5%, p = 7.10(-7)) were more frequent in the biopsy proven than in the negative biopsy group. Less specific symptoms, such as headache (82.5% v 92. 9%, p = 0.021), or associated polymyalgia rheumatica (40.1% v 65.9%, p = 9 x 10(-5)) were more prevalent in the negative biopsy cases. Biological markers of inflammation were significantly more increased in the biopsy proven group. All cases of blindness occurring after treatment belonged to the biopsy proven group. CONCLUSION: Biopsy proven cases seem to be more severe than biopsy negative cases at the time of diagnosis and during follow up. Seasonal difference at diagnosis may suggest a different aetiological pattern. (+info)
Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica: are pregnancies a protective factor? A prospective, multicentre case-control study. GRACG (Groupe de Recherche sur l'Arterite a Cellules Geantes).
OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential role of allo-immunization, either by former pregnancies, or by a history of blood transfusion, in the pathogenesis of giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. METHODS: Two hundred and eighty-five incident female cases and 186 age-matched, population-based female controls were prospectively included in a multicentre case-control study. RESULTS: The number of pregnancies was significantly lower in cases than in controls (nulliparous: 21.55% vs 12.90%; > or =4 pregnancies: 16.25% vs 27.42%; Wilcoxon rank sum test: P = 0.0019) in biopsy-proven or negative temporal arteritis and, to a lesser extent, in polymyalgia rheumatica. No difference was found for history of blood transfusion. Pregnancies remained negatively associated with the disease in a multivariate analysis including cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking or a pre-existing peripheral vascular disease. CONCLUSION: Former pregnancies are not a risk factor for giant cell arteritis. Pregnancies may be protective thanks to an effect of the associated hyperoestrogenic state against alterations of the artery wall, as suggested in animal models. (+info)
Circulating soluble adhesion molecules in patients with giant cell arteritis. Correlation between soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) concentrations and disease activity.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether changes in concentrations of circulating adhesion molecules are related to disease activity in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA). METHODS: A sandwich ELISA was used to measure soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), sICAM-3, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), E-selectin (sE-selectin), and L-selectin (sL-selectin) in serum and plasma samples from patients with GCA. A cross sectional study was performed on 64 GCA patients at different activity stages and on 35 age and sex matched healthy donors. Thirteen of these patients were evaluated at the time of diagnosis and serially during follow up. RESULTS: At the time of diagnosis, sICAM-1 concentrations were significantly higher in active GCA patients than in controls (mean (SD) 360.55 (129.78) ng/ml versus 243.25 (47.43) ng/ml, p < 0.001). In contrast, sICAM-3, sVCAM-1, sE-selectin, and sL-selectin values did not differ from those obtained in normal donors. With corticosteroid administration, a decrease in sICAM-1 concentrations was observed, reaching normal values when clinical remission was achieved (263.18 (92.7) ng/ml globally, 293.59 (108.39) ng/ml in the group of patients in recent remission, and 236.83 (70.02) ng/ml in those in long term remission). In the 13 patients followed up longitudinally, sICAM-1 values also normalised with clinical remission (225.87 (64.25) ng/ml in patients in recent remission, and 256.29 (75.15) ng/ml in those in long term remission). CONCLUSIONS: Circulating sICAM-1 concentrations clearly correlate with clinically apparent disease activity in GCA patients. Differences with results previously found in patients with other vasculitides may indicate that different pathogenic mechanisms contribute to vascular inflammation in different disorders. (+info)