RNA phenotyping in newly diagnosed and flare giant cell arteritis

Study code

Lead researcher
Ann Morgan 

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Leeds

Researcher type

Speciality area
Genomics and Rare Diseases


There are many types of vasculitis; conditions where the body fights itself damaging blood vessels. These are categorised based on the size of the vessel involved. For example, small blood vessels are involved in anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis, while Takayasu arteritis and giant cell arteritis affect large blood vessels, such as the aorta.

Autoimmune vasculitides are rare diseases, with overlapping clinical features. Our understanding of the mechanisms leading to activation, or switching off, of different components of the immune system and platelets in vasculitis has increased in recent years.

A key clinical challenge when caring for people with vasculitis is balancing control of the immune system (prevents complications) against over-suppression (leads to infections). Although many new treatments are becoming available, these tend to undergo clinical trials in only one form of vasculitis. Patients with all forms of vasculitis may benefit from these treatments.

In this study we are recruiting patients from the Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) and Autoimmune Vasculitis (AIV) cohorts at the Rare Diseases BioResource with a flare in their vasculitis, irrespective of the type of vasculitis or their current treatment. This will allow us to see if the same immune signatures are seen in different types of vasculitis to help build the case for increased use of these treatments in different types of vasculitis.

This study is part of our Rare Diseases RNA Phenotyping Project. Each participating study in the project is included in a collection hosted on our main studies page.