RHEUMATICA-ARTERITIS LINK?

What proportion of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica develop temporal arteritis? Is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) elevated in both conditions?
—Frank V. Monti, DO, Virginia Beach, Va.

Approximately 10%-15% of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica develop temporal arteritis, usually when low-dose steroids are tapered or discontinued. The ESR is elevated in both conditions during active inflammation, but C-reactive protein tests are often preferred as monitoring tools. The latter rise and fall more quickly and thus facilitate patient care.
—Jack Waxman, MD (111-4)

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