Acute chest pain in an elderly woman.
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A 79-year-old woman was admitted to hospital complaining of chest pain, increasing weakness, anorexia, hoarseness, headache and discomfort in the throat and jaws while eating. Physical examination, chest x-rays, serial electrocardiograms and cardiac enzymes were unremarkable. After admission she developed weakness and numbness in the left leg with urinary retention, decreased sensation to touch, weakness, increased tone, absent deep tendon reflexes and a positive Babinski sign on the left. Zeta sedimentation rate was markedly elevated at 0.63. Computerized tomographic head scan, myelography, echocardiography, barium swallow and meal, immunoglobulins, electrophoresis and other laboratory investigations were unremarkable. Repeat sedimentation rate was still markedly elevated three weeks later. A temporal artery biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of temporal or giant cell arteritis. Prednisone, 60 mg daily, was started.
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