Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to Diagnose Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

General approach — There is no pathognomonic test or established diagnostic criteria for polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). We use the presence of all of the following empirically formulated criteria for the clinical diagnosis of PMR in whom another disease to explain the findings is not present :

●Age 50 years or older at disease onset.

●Proximally and bilaterally distributed aching and morning stiffness (lasting at least 30 minutes or more) persisting for at least two weeks. The stiffness should involve at least two of the following three areas: neck or torso, shoulders or proximal regions of the arms, and hips or proximal aspects of the thighs.

●Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) ≥40 mm/hour.

●Rapid resolution of symptoms with low-dose glucocorticoids. Symptoms are generally 50 to 70 percent better within three days in patients with PMR started on prednisone at a dose of 10 to 20 mg/day, and almost all patients respond completely within three weeks of beginning treatment. The lack of response to initial therapy strongly suggests an alternative diagnosis. Symptomatic improvement with low-dose glucocorticoid treatment can also be seen in patients with rheumatoid disease, psoriatic arthritis, and other inflammatory arthritides.

Bhopalwala. H

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