Do We Have a Culprit? An Association of Giant Cell Arteritis with Pulmonary Embolism
  • Carolina Miguel Gonçalves
    Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
  • Pedro Neves Tavares
    Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
  • Fátima Saraiva
    Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
  • João Morais
    Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal; ciTechCare – Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal
  • Maria Jesus Banza
    Centro Hospitalar de Leiria, Leiria, Portugal


Giant cell arteritis


Giant cell arteritis is the most common type of systemic vasculitis. An increased risk of venous thromboembolism has been described in these patients. We report the case of a 79-year-old woman with a history of polymyalgia rheumatica, who presented with left thoracic pain radiating to the neck and scapula plus temporal headache. She had no changes on physical examination, but work-up tests showed increased D-dimer levels and computed tomography pulmonary angiography revealed signs of a chronic/subacute embolism in the right inferior lobe. Anticoagulation with edoxaban was started after 5-day bridging with enoxaparin. Three weeks after the initial diagnosis the headache still persisted and she developed scalp tenderness. Giant cell arteritis was diagnosed and treated with prednisolone, with complete resolution of symptoms. Extensive diagnostic work-up was performed to identify an alternative cause of pulmonary thromboembolism; however, the investigations were negative. This case supports the hypothesis that this type of vasculitis could be related to the occurrence of pulmonary embolism.



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    Published: 2022-01-31
    Issue: 2022: Vol 9 No 1 (view)

    How to cite:
    Miguel Gonçalves C, Neves Tavares P, Saraiva F, Morais J, Banza MJ. Do We Have a Culprit? An Association of Giant Cell Arteritis with Pulmonary Embolism. EJCRIM 2022;9 doi:10.12890/2022_003028.

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