Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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The syndrome of pain and stiffness, usually in the neck, shoulders and hips, is associated with HLA-DR4 and Giant Cell Arteritis.


The specific cause of this syndrome remains unknown, however, it is thought that environmental factors such as a virus may lead to an immune response in individuals that are genetically predisposed.


  • Joint stiffness
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty completing daily life activities
  • Morning stiffness for more than one hour
  • Muscle stiffness after prolonged inactivity


Symmetrical joint stiffness, low grade fever, and weight loss are among the visible signs of this syndrome.


The most sensitive test to diagnose PMR is a raised ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate). Other blood tests such as FBC (full blood count), ANA (antinuclear antibody), RF (rheumatoid factor), and CK (creatinine kinase) are often normal.


Medical treatment includes low dose corticosteroids.


Complications of the syndrome may include the development of Giant Cell Arteritis.


With prompt diagnosis and adequate therapy, patients of this syndrome have an excellent prognosis. On average, the disease lasts for three years.

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