[Delays in the management of ocular complications of giant cell arteritis: A retrospective monocentric study of 33 patients].

Source: Rev Med Interne

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INTRODUCTION: Ocular complications of giant cell arteritis (GCA) can lead to irreversible bilateral blindness and represent a therapeutic emergency. Recommendations for the management of GCA have recently been updated. The objective of the study was to evaluate delays in appropriate management of the ocular complications of GCA and its determinants. | METHOD: Retrospective, monocentric study, conducted over the period January 2013-November 2018. All consecutive patients with a final diagnosis of GCA and related visual impairment (permanent visual loss and/or alteration of visual field) were included. | RESULTS: Thirty-three patients were included (women: 21, men: 12; mean age at diagnosis: 79). Twenty-seven patients (82%) presented with symptoms suggestive of ACG prior to the visual complication, ranging from a few weeks to several months. Seventeen patients (52%) had a known biological inflammatory syndrome (median CRP at 64 mg/L) prior to hospital consultation. The median time from the onset of permanent ophthalmologic manifestations to appropriate corticosteroid management was 3 days (range: 0-134). Two of the 21 patients who consulted an out-of-hospital ophthalmologist received corticosteroid therapy before referral to hospital. Three patients (9%) were treated within 24 h of the onset of the disorders. | CONCLUSION: There is a significant delay in the appropriate management of ophthalmological complications of ACG and deviations from current recommendations. Numerous actions must therefore be taken to improve the visual prognosis of patients with ACG, both preventively (i.e. early diagnosis and treatment of ACG before the possible occurrence of visual complications), and curatively (rapid recognition and immediate treatment of ocular complications). These elements support the relevance of specific fast-track pathways for GCA.