The association of vascular risk factors with visual loss in giant cell arteritis

Max Yates (Lead Author), Alex J. MacGregor, Joanna Robson, Anthea Craven, Peter A. Merkel, Raashid A. Luqmani, Richard A. Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Blindness is a recognised complication of giant cell arteritis (GCA); however the frequency and risk factors for this complication have not been firmly established. This study examined the incidence and determinants of blindness in patients with GCA using a large international cohort.

Methods: The analysis was conducted among subjects recruited into the Diagnosis and Classification Criteria in Vasculitis Study (DCAVS). The study captures consecutive patients presenting to clinic-based physicians. New onset blindness was assessed six months after diagnosis by completion of the Vasculitis Damage Index (VDI). Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between blindness and clinical variables.

Results: Of 433 patients with GCA from 26 countries, 7.9% presented with blindness in at least one eye at six months. Risk factors identified at baseline for blindness at six months were identified and included prevalent stroke (OR = 4.47, 95% CI: 1.30 to 15.41), and peripheral vascular disease (OR = 10.44, 95% CI: 2.94 to 37.03).

Conclusion: This is the largest study to date of subjects with incident GCA and confirms that blindness remains a common complication of disease and is associated with established vascular disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-528
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Early online date8 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Giant cell
  • arteritis
  • blindness
  • VDI

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