Seasonal variations in the incidence of giant cell arteritis treatment suggest a possible infective origin however, current evidences are mixed. In a large epidemiologic study with a 12-year follow-up, there has been synchronous variation in the incidence of giant cell arteritis with epidemics of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumonia and parvovirus B19. However, in another large study which included a 13-year follow-up, no evidence of infective etiology was found. In a small study, C. pneumoniae DNA was found in seven out of nine TA biopsies of patients with giant cell arteritis. Overall, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest any specific infectious agent as an etiologic factor. Despite increased understanding about the inflammatory cascade responsible for the disease process, the initial event that triggers this cascade remains uncertain.
Regionally, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa. Giant cell arteritis is a disease that affects twice as many females than males. Giant cell arteritis is estimated to affect 120,000 individuals in the United States. The incidence of GCA in Saudi Arabia is probably less than in the United States and Western Europe. Only 4 positive biopsy results from 72 temporal artery biopsies performed over a 15-year period in Saudi patients. In Spain, the average annual incidence for the population aged 50 years and older is 10 cases per 100,000 people. Giant cell arteritis is less common in Africans and Asians. Although giant cell arteritis had been considered less common among Hispanic persons, recent evidence has challenged this notion.
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Some of the hospitals and clinics providing treatment for giant cell arteritis are The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Fortis Healthcare, American College of Rheumatology, Duke University Health System, and Lahey Clinic Foundation, Inc. Patients must be instructed about the risk of complications and symptomatic relapses. Patients should immediately consult a physician if they experience symptoms of transient blurring of vision because of the possibility of impending attacks of giant cell arteritis or transient ischemic attack. Education is the most important step in helping the patient appreciate the clinical facets of this illness, the potential adverse effects of the therapy, and the need for monitoring.
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