Unifying Concepts

ACR Criteria for the Classification of Giant-Cell Arteritis

Three of the following five criteria were required to meet American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for giant-cell arteritis:

  1. Age 50 years or older,
  2. New-onset localized headache,
  3. Temporal artery tenderness or decreased temporal artery pulse,
  4. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate of at least 50 mm/h, and
  5. Abnormal artery biopsy specimen characterized by mononuclear infiltration or granulomatous inflammation.

These criteria have a reported sensitivity of 93.5% and a reported specificity of 91.2% for the classification of giant-cell arteritis compared with other vasculitides.




  1. Hunder GG, Bloch DA, Michel BA, Stevens MB, Arend WP, Calabrese LH, et al. The American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for the classification of giant cell arteritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1990;33:1122-8.[Medline]
  2. Weyand CM, Goronzy JJ. Clinical practice. Giant-cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 3;371(1):50-7. [Medline]

Created: May 29, 2005

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