ANZVASC patient webinar

The Australian and New Zealand Vasculitis Society (ANZVASC) is hosting a 2 hour patient webinar at 11am on Saturday May 15th. The program is below and you can register here:    

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Chewing gum to help diagnose giant cell arteritis

This week we published work assessing the “chewing gum test” to help diagnose giant cell arteritis (CGT). This test involves a patient chewing gum for 5 minutes as part of the clinical assessment for GCA. Jaw claudication, whereby patients describe pain in the jaw on prolonged chewing, is a typical symptom…

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The value of a careful history and examination to help diagnose GCA

A new systematic review published in JAMA Internal Medicine assesses which clinical features are more strongly associated with a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. I like this article as it reaffirms the value of a careful patient history and examination. Jaw claudication (pain on chewing), an abnormal temporal artery examination, and…

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MAINRITSAN 3 – Rituximab maintenance therapy for ANCA vasculitis

The optimal duration of Rituximab maintenance therapy for ANCA vasculitis is not known. The French vasculitis group has just published an important article to help answer this question. In this MAINRITSAN-3 study (link), they randomised patients who had previously had 2 years of maintenance Rituximab and were in remission (disease was…

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Thrombosis or vasculitis – a common conundrum

This image shows a positive “Allen’s” test. It is from a case report that we published in Vascular Medicine journal last weekend. The left hand is pale due to a blood clot occluding the ulnar artery. When blood clots (thromboses) occur in in unusual locations, a hunt must be undertaken to…

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Look beyond the temporal arteries when using ultrasound to diagnose giant cell arteritis (GCA)

Ultrasound is very popular in Europe to diagnose GCA. Many centres have a specialised GCA ultrasound service and use it in preference to temporal artery biopsy. This practice was supported in the 2018 European (EULAR) guidelines for diagnosing GCA. The temporal arteries on the scalp are the most convenient and highest…

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