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Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is one of the most common rheumatic inflammatory disorders in people aged over 50. It is characterized by aching and prolonged morning stiffness in the shoulder and pelvic girdles and neck. To date there are no specific diagnostic tests, and in clinical practice the diagnosis of PMR remains based on its characteristic clinical manifestations, laboratory evidence of systemic inflammation, rapid response to low doses of glucocorticoids and exclusion of other disorders that may present with proximal pain and stiffness. For classification purposes, several criteria have been proposed over time based on retrospective clinical series, but none have been validated and received universal acceptance. Recently, an international collaborative initiative between the EULAR and the ACR was undertaken to develop new polymyalgia rheumatica classification criteria. In this review, the provisional 2012 EULAR/ACR classification criteria will be presented and their contribution for the diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica will be discussed.
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