Is giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis) a genetic disorder?

Updated: Sep 10, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Reports of familial aggregation, [26] association with the HLA-DR4 haplotype, and an apparent higher frequency of these conditions in northern Europe and in persons in the United States with similar ethnic backgrounds suggest a genetic or hereditary predisposition. GCA is less common among African Americans. A possible association between Toll-like receptor 4 gene polymorphism and susceptibility to biopsy-proven GCA has been found. [27]

Epidemiological observations, reports, and studies using DNA detection techniques have implicated Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, parvovirus B19, and varicella zoster as the impetus for the destructive inflammation. [28, 29, 30] Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that these infectious agents are only "innocent bystanders."

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