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Giant cell arteritis associated with PD-1 inhibition
  1. Nina Couette and
  2. Jisna Paul
  1. Rheumatology & Immunology, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jisna Paul; jisna.paul{at}


A 50-year-old woman was referred to rheumatology for new onset polyarthralgia and headache. She had a history of metastatic lung adenocarcinoma and was started on treatment with the programmed death 1 receptor (PD-1) antagonist pembrolizumab 2 months prior. Examination revealed left temporal artery tenderness and hand synovitis. Investigations revealed enlarged temporal artery on ultrasound imaging. On steroid treatment, she had resolution of symptoms, but due to significant steroid side effects required methotrexate and her PD-1 antagonist therapy was continued in consultation with her oncologist. Her malignant disease has remained stable, and she has improved functional status.

  • vasculitis
  • lung cancer (oncology)

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  • Contributors We, JP and NC, have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; and the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work. Dr NC did the initial drafting of the work, and I did the revision and edits. We both approved the final version. We both are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work. JP, MD8/30/2021.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.