VASILICA CRISTESCU, AURELIA ROMILA, LUANA ANDREEA MACOVEI POLYMYALGIA RHEUMATICA - A DISEASE OF THE ELDERLY Polymyalgia rheumatica is a disease that occurs mostly in the elderly and is rarely seen in patients less than 50 years of age. Polymyalgia rheumatica is a vasculitis, which manifests itself as an inflammatory disease of the vascular wall that can affect any type of blood vessel, regardless of its size. It has been considered a form of giant cell arteritis, involving primarily large and medium arteries and to a lesser extent the arterioles. Clinical manifestations are caused by the generic pathogenic process and depend on the characteristics of the damaged organ. PMR is a senescence-related immune disorder. It has been defined as a stand-alone condition and a syndrome referred to as rheumatic polyarteritis with manifestations of giant cell arteritis (especially in cases of Horton’s disease and temporal arteritis) which are commonly associated with polymyalgia. The clinical presentation is clearly dominated by the painful girdle syndrome, with a feeling of general discomfort. Polymyalgia and temporal arteritis may coexist or be consecutive to each other in the same patient, as in most of our patients. The present study describes 3 cases of polymyalgia rheumatica, admitted to the Clinic of Rheumatology of Sf. Apostol Andrei Hospital, Galati. The cases were compared with the literature. Two clinical aspects (polymyalgia rheumatica and/or Horton’s disease) and the relationship between them were also considered. Polymyalgia rheumatica is currently thought to have a multifactorial etiology, in which the following factors play a role: genetic factors or hereditary predisposition (some individuals are more prone to this disease), immune factors and viral infections (triggers of the disease). Other risk factors of polymyalgia rheumatica include age over 50 years and the association with giant cell arteritis. The characteristic feature of the disease is girdle pain, with intense stiffness of at least one hour’s duration. Markers of inflammation, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein are almost always increased at the onset of the disease. Diseases that can mimic the clinical picture of polymyalgia rheumatica are neoplasia, infections, metabolic disorders of the bone and endocrine diseases.