, or giant-cell arteritis (GCA), is an inflammatory disease of the blood
vessels, quite common among the elderly after the age of 50. This infection
is localized mainly in the tributaries of the external carotid artery
, including the temporal artery
, hence another commonly used name, temporal arteritis. The most common symptoms are mild fever
, weight loss, fatigue, severe headache
at one of the two temples, pain
when chewing, and an exaggerated sensitivity of the scalp
. On examination, the area of the temporal arteries
is sometimes hot and red, with a decrease in pulse. Giant cell arteritis can cause blindness in severe cases. A blood test
will show significant inflammation
, including a greatly increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate. When in doubt, a biopsy
of the temporal artery can be performed. The treatment consists of corticosteroids in decreasing doses.
Published by Jeff
Latest update on December 11, 2013 at 03:46 AM by Jeff.