Polymyalgia rheumatica, a Pandora's box?

M. Janssen, J.J. Rasker, J.J.M. Festen, S.G. Hulst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Polymyalgia rheumatica is not a separate entity, but a complex of highly variable symptoms. Out of 25 women and 8 men examined in our study, 6 were found to suffer from polymyalgia associated with temporal arteritis, and 2 from polymyalgia associated with polyarteritis nodosa. Rheumatoid arthritis developed in the course of the condition in 8 patients, one of whom had proven temporal arteritis. The symptoms, accessory diagnosis and laboratory tests are described. Morning stiffness, and the need of help in rising occur significantly more frequently in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica without temporal arteritis; temporal headache occurs more often in patients with temporal arteritis. In the 33 patients with polymyalgia rheumatica, the disease was found to have had its onset less often in spring than in the other seasons. On the average, the diagnosis was only made 4 months after the first symptoms. All the patients failed to respond adequately to anti-inflammatory agents, and had to be treated with corticosteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalNederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes


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