Polymyalgia rheumatica

Link to article at PubMed

Lancet. 2023 Oct 10:S0140-6736(23)01310-7. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01310-7. Online ahead of print.


Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory disease producing pain and stiffness, mainly in the shoulders and pelvic girdle, in people older than 50 years. Elevation of acute phase reactants is common due to the inflammatory nature of the disease. Since there are no specific diagnostic tests, diagnosis requires the exclusion of other diseases with similar presentations. Imaging has helped to identify the pathological substrate of polymyalgia rheumatica and it is increasingly used to support clinical diagnosis or to detect coexistent giant cell arteritis. Although polymyalgia rheumatica does not clearly impair survival or organ function, it can have a detrimental effect on quality of life. Glucocorticoids at 12·5-25·0 mg prednisone per day are effective in inducing remission in most individuals but, when tapered, relapses occur in 40-60% of those affected and side-effects are common. Assessment of disease activity can be difficult because pain related to common comorbidities such as osteoarthritis and tendinopathies, can return when glucocorticoids are reduced, and acute phase reactants are increased less during flares in individuals undergoing treatment or might increase for other reasons. The role of imaging in assessing disease activity is not yet completely defined. In the search for more efficient and safer therapies, tocilizumab and sarilumab have shown efficacy in randomised controlled trials and additional targeted therapies are emerging. However, judicious risk-benefit balance is essential in applying therapeutic innovations to people with polymyalgia rheumatica.

PMID:37832573 | DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01310-7

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