We describe three patients with histologically proven giant cell arteritis who presented with respiratory complaints. In one patient, dry cough and dyspnoea dominated the clinical picture. In the other two patients, a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis was readily suspected by the presence of typical complaints, although both patients spontaneously mentioned a persistent cough and dyspnoea, respectively. Radiographs of the chest were normal. Lung function tests, including a carbon monoxide (CO)-diffusion capacity measurement, were always normal. Broncho-alveolar lavage fluid examination showed a normal cell count but an increased number of lymphocytes (16-61%) with a predominance of T4-lymphocytes (65.5-84.5%). We conclude that respiratory complaints and T4-lymphocytic alveolitis can be associated with giant cell arteritis.