OPEN Research Support

Chief Physician
Anders Jørgen Svendsen
Dept. of Rheumatology, OUH Svendborg

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Open
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.02.2022  
Slut -  

The incidence of giant cell arteritis in Denmark

Short summary

This project aims to estimate the incidence of Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA), with or without Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), on Funen Island and furthermore describe symptoms experienced prior to diagnosis, relevant diagnostic tests, diagnostic delay and number of cases treated with prednisolon before referral to the department of rheumatology.


GCA is a large vessel vasculitis of unknown etiology characterized by the presence of giant cells in biopsy specimens from large arteries. Most often, it affects the arteries in the head, especially those in the temples. But GCA can also affect medium and large arteries in other part of the body and may cause myocardial infarction, aneurysm formation, dissection, hemorrhage, and rupture. Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a systemic inflammatory disorder characterized by proximal pain typically in shoulders and hip girdles associated with morning stiffness and constitutional symptoms such as profound fatigue. Up to 20% of those with PMR also have GCA.

Objectives: Estimate the incidence of GCA on Funen Island. Describe the pattern of symptoms before diagnosis according to classical cranial arteritis, large vessel vasculitis and single organ arteritis. Estimate the diagnostic delay from the first appearance of symptoms to the final diagnosis Estimate the number of cases treated with prednisolon before referral to the department of rheumatology.

Description of the cohort

Patients diagnosed with GCA, with or without PMR, in 2019 and 2020 on Funen Island.

Data and biological material

We have obtained a data retrieval from the department of "økonomi og planlægning", Odense University Hospital to get the number of cases with the relevant diagnosis. Based on this retrieval there are 396 persons registered with a diagnosis of pure GCA or GCA with PMR in 2019-2020 incl. This figure covers both incident and prevalent cases.