UK GCA Consortium

The TARGET Consortium

UK GCA Consortium

What is the UK GCA Consortium study?

The UK GCA Consortium (UK GCA) study is for patients with suspected and diagnosed GCA. It was established in 2005 (REC 05/Q1108/28) and is led by Prof. Ann Morgan. The original purpose of this observational study was to find genetic determinants of GCA susceptibility in order to yield novel insights into disease pathogenesis. To date, over 1,900 patients with suspected or clinically diagnosed GCA have been recruited from 44 primary and secondary care centres in England and Wales. All centres are actively recruiting patients, and we are still adding new sites.

What data do we collect?

Patients have a single study visit and data are recorded, usually by a research nurse, by patient interview supplemented by review of medical notes. The clinical data currently collected covers diagnosis (features and manifestations, diagnostic tests), co-morbidities, smoking and alcohol history, steroid treatment, flares, drug history, adverse events and family history. We also collect data related to race and the English Indices of Deprivation (derived from home post codes). We have access to blood test results (including markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein [CRP], Erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR], and plasma viscosity [PV]) and temporal artery biopsy blocks and slides if taken as part of diagnosis. Data is compiled in a central database, and samples are collected from all sites and stored in HTA licenced premises in the School of Medicine (University of Leeds, UK). Samples collected from this study have already been used to perform tests such as proteomics, genetics, metabolomics and biomarker profiling to generate novel insights into the disease pathogenesis.

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