Ocular Emergencies in Giant Cell Arteritis: Preventing Permanent Vision Loss

1.00 CME
$0 FEE


Provider Statement

This continuing medical education activity is provided by Vindico Medical Education.

Support Statement

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Genentech, Inc.

Activity Description

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common form of medium- and large-vessel vasculitis. Despite new therapy options for patients with GCA, delays in diagnosis and treatment lead to poor outcomes, such as an increased risk for visual impairment and incidence of heart attack, transient ischemic attacks, and/or mortality. Diagnosis of GCA remains difficult, due to the nonspecific nature of many early symptoms. Any visual impairment, even an acute one, must be treated as an ocular emergency to avoid permanent vision loss. Until recently, therapeutic options were limited to prolonged, high-dose glucocorticoid therapy, which has the potential for many undesirable side effects. In this CME activity, expert faculty discuss the array of visual symptoms commonly experienced by patients with GCA as well as the current therapeutic options, including the latest evidence regarding biologics and the impact these have on the need for steroids. Strategies regarding how to adopt a multidisciplinary approach for the care of patients with GCA are also discussed.

Target Audience

The intended audience for the activity is ophthalmologists and other health care professionals involved in the management of patients with GCA.

Learning Objective(s)

Upon successful completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Review the range of clinical presentations of patients with GCA and the potential consequences if these patients are not treated as a medical emergency.
  • Utilize appropriate medical workup and diagnostic tools to identify patients with GCA in a timely manner.
  • Assess the latest evidence regarding the use of steroid-sparing regimens on long-term treatment response and health-related quality of life for patients with GCA.
  • Implement the most appropriate treatment strategies for patients with GCA.
  • Adopt a multidisciplinary approach for the care of patients with GCA.

Activity Chair

Joseph Rizzo, MD
David Glendenning Cogan Professor of Ophthalmology in the field of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Director of Neuro-Ophthalmology Service
Director of Alumni Association
Department of Ophthalmology
Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Boston, MA


Ara Dikranian, MD
Cabrillo Center for Rheumatic Disease
San Diego, CA

Anna P. Murchison, MD, MPH
Director, Wills Eye Emergency Department
Skull Base Division, Neuro-Ophthalmology Service
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Wills Eye Hospital
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA


Ronald A. Codario, MD, EMBA, FACP, FNLA, RPVI, CHCP


Vindico Medical Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

Vindico Medical Education designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This enduring material is approved for 1 year from the date of original release, January 14, 2020, through January 13, 2021.

How to Participate in This Activity and Obtain CME Credit

To participate in this CME activity, you must read the objectives, answer the pretest questions, view the content, and complete the posttest and evaluation. Provide only one (1) correct answer for the question. A satisfactory score is defined as answering 4 of the 5 posttest questions correctly. Upon receipt of the completed materials, if a satisfactory score on the posttest is achieved, Vindico Medical Education will issue an AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ Certificate.


MIPS Qualifying Activity

Vindico has identified this CME activity as an improvement activity in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Participants who successfully complete the activity and its performance assessment will receive printable documentation of successful completion for MIPS self-reporting.

To meet the criteria for improvement activities in the MIPS of QPP, accredited CME providers need to implement activities that:

  • address a quality or safety gap that is supported by a needs assessment or problem analysis, or support the completion of such a needs assessment as part of the activity;
  • have specific, measurable aim(s) for improvement;
  • include interventions intended to result in improvement;
  • include data collection and analysis of performance data to assess the impact of the interventions; and
  • define meaningful clinician participation in their activity, describe the mechanism for identifying clinicians who meet the requirements, and provide participant completion information.


In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s Standards for Commercial Support, all CME providers are required to disclose to the activity audience the relevant financial relationships of the planners, teachers, and authors involved in the development of CME content. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if he or she has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the past 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the CME activity content over which the individual has control.

The authors disclose that they do have significant financial interests in any products or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.

Activity chair and faculty report the following relationship(s)

Ara Dikranian, MD
Consulting Fee: AbbVie, Genentech, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi Genzyme
Speakers Bureau: AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Horizon, Pfizer, Regeneron, Sanofi Genzyme

Anna P. Murchison, MD, MPH
Consulting Fee: Genentech

Joseph Rizzo, MD
No relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Reviewer reports the following relationship(s)

Ronald A. Codario, MD, EMBA, FACP, FNLA, RPVI, CHCP
No relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Vindico Medical Education staff report the following relationship(s)

No relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Signed disclosures are on file at Vindico Medical Education, Office of Medical Affairs and Compliance.

Unlabeled and Investigational Usage

The audience is advised that this continuing medical education activity may contain references to unlabeled uses of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved products or to products not approved by the FDA for use in the United States. The faculty members have been made aware of their obligation to disclose such usage. All activity participants will be informed if any speakers/authors intend to discuss either non–FDA-approved or investigational use of products/devices.

Copyright Statement

Created and published by Vindico Medical Education, 6900 Grove Road, Building 100, Thorofare, NJ 08086-9447. Telephone: 856-994-9400; Fax: 856-384-6680. Printed in the USA. Copyright © 2019 Vindico Medical Education. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. The material presented at or in any of Vindico Medical Education continuing medical education activities does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Vindico Medical Education. Neither Vindico Medical Education nor the faculty endorse or recommend any techniques, commercial products, or manufacturers. The faculty/authors may discuss the use of materials and/or products that have not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. All readers and continuing education participants should verify all information before treating patients or utilizing any product.

CME Questions?

Contact us at cme@vindicoCME.com