Author(s): Christidis D, Jain S, Das Gupta B
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Abstract A 63-year-old female presented with a 12-week history of worsening proximal pain and stiffness. She was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and started on corticosteroids. The authors were unable to wean-off her steroid treatment, despite trying various steroid sparing agents on different occasions with no benefit. In August 2010, she was diagnosed with giant cell arteritis with a temporal artery biopsy and ultrasound of the temporal and axillary arteries. An fluorine-18-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography CT showed increased uptake in the aorta and major vessels, in keeping with widespread large vessel involvement. Due to the disease severity, the failure of previous disease-modifying agents and the development of steroid related sideeffects, the authors decided to treat her with intravenous tocilizumab (TCZ;an interleukin 6 blocker). After her first infusion, the patient reported excellent response with normalisation of her inflammatory markers. Prednisolone reduced from 20 mg to 3.5 mg /day after five infusions of TCZ (8 mg/kg).
This article was published in BMJ Case Rep
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis