Giant Cell Arteritis (Temporal Arteritis)

Among the many types of rheumatic diseases, Giant Cell Arteritis-Temporal Arteritis is a condition that affects the lining of the joints. This disease can cause symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. It can also lead to complications. So, it is important to understand the disease, its symptoms, and treatment options before it strikes you.


Symptoms of giant cell arteritis can be difficult to determine. This is because the disease can begin with nonspecific symptoms, and then slowly develop over several weeks. It is important to seek treatment for this condition, as early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious complications.

Giant cell arteritis is a type of vasculitis, a group of diseases that attack the lining of blood vessels. These vessels are normally elastic, but when the lining becomes inflamed, the blood vessels become narrowed and less blood is able to reach the tissues. These narrowed arteries can lead to stroke and other neurologic complications.

The most common symptoms of giant cell arteritis are fever, joint pain, fatigue, and jaw claudication. However, the condition can cause other symptoms as well. It can also lead to severe anemia. The condition usually affects people over 50. This type of vasculitis is usually treatable.

Giant cell arteritis may affect the aorta as well as other large blood vessels in the head. These vessels can be occluded or narrowed, causing poor blood flow to the brain and eyes. It is possible to have permanent vision loss due to this condition. By getting treatment for this condition early, it is possible to prevent permanent blindness.

Giant cell arteritis also causes thrombosis, a condition that results from the lining of a blood vessel becoming narrowed. If it progresses without other symptoms, it can lead to an aortic aneurysm, which is a bulge in the weakened blood vessel. In order to diagnose this condition, a biopsy of the affected artery is necessary.

This procedure is performed by removing a small piece of tissue from the affected area and examining it under a microscope. The sample will show any abnormalities. If the sample is abnormal, then the affected artery is suspected to be infected. If this is the case, then the patient is prescribed corticosteroids. The corticosteroids are then gradually reduced.

Giant cell arteritis usually affects adults, although it can also affect children. It is more common in people of Nordic descent. Symptoms can include pain and tenderness in the temples or scalp, sore throat, weight loss, and a throbbing headache.


Identifying the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis involves a combination of factors, including laboratory tests and imaging tests. The most common type of imaging technique is ultrasound. This test can help reveal changes in the temporal arteries. A doctor may also order imaging tests such as positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRI) to view the lining of the arteries.

A temporal artery biopsy is the most definitive test for diagnosing giant cell arteritis. The biopsy involves the removal of a small section of the temporal artery. This tiny section is then studied for evidence of inflammation and damage to the artery wall. The biopsy specimens show an inflammatory process with thrombosis, multinucleated cells, and intimal proliferation. The biopsy results confirm the diagnosis.

Other tests that a doctor may order are erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and liver function tests. A doctor may also order imaging tests to help view the inflammation of the arteries. The results of these tests will help the doctor determine the severity of the condition.

A diagnosis of giant cell arteritis should be made as quickly as possible, as this disease can lead to irreversible blindness. Fortunately, this is usually preventable. However, the disease may persist for years, and some patients may require years of therapy to achieve remission.

Giant cell arteritis may be treated with corticosteroids, which are highly effective. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms. However, they must be started as soon as the diagnosis is made. Steroids should be tapered down slowly to prevent relapse. If the disease persists, the doctor may recommend surgery to enlarge the blood vessel.

An aortic aneurysm, which is a bulge in a weakened blood vessel, can also occur. Aortic aneurysms are more likely to occur years after the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis, but they can occur even after the disease has gone into remission. In addition to aneurysms, aortic stenoses are a potential long-term complication.

Other factors that increase the risk of giant cell arteritis are genetics and environmental factors. Women over 50 are more likely to develop the condition than men.

Treatment options

Choosing the right treatment for Giant Cell Arteritis-Temporal Arteritis is a critical decision. Delay in treatment can lead to complications such as vision loss. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available, including corticosteroids, steroid-sparing medications, and immunosuppressants. You should know the basics about the disease before you decide on a treatment. In addition, you should learn about the potential side effects of medications.

The best test for diagnosing GCA is a temporal artery biopsy. The procedure involves taking a small piece of the blood vessel and placing it under a microscope. This test can detect inflammation and abnormally large cells. A temporal artery biopsy is usually performed on an outpatient basis and is conducted under local anesthesia.

A systematic review examined the effectiveness of different treatments. It evaluated the accuracy of commonly used tests for diagnosing GCA, estimated the benefits of each treatment, and estimated the harms of each treatment. The results of the review were used to inform evidence-based recommendations in ACR/VF vasculitis management guidelines.

Treatment options for Giant Cell Arteritis-Temporal artery enlargement include high-dose corticosteroid therapy, low-dose aspirin, steroid-sparing medications, immunosuppressants, and selective T cell co-stimulation modulator. Steroid-sparing medications include tocilizumab (Actemra) and abatacept (Darzim). In addition, abatacept has been found to reduce relapse in GCA patients.

Treatment options for Giant Cell Arteritis-Temporal arteritis are important, because of the potentially serious ischemic complications that can occur. Fortunately, patients tend to feel better within a few days of starting therapy. However, some people may discontinue treatment before seeing improvement. Fortunately, there are several online support groups available for patients. You should also inform your doctor of any changes in your health. Your doctor may order other tests to check for other conditions. If you have any questions, you can always talk with your doctor or a healthcare team member.

Tocilizumab (Actemra) is a promising new treatment for GCA. It is a steroid-sparing medication that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition. It is typically used in combination with glucocorticoids. In addition, it is effective in relapsing and corticosteroid-refractory GCA patients.


Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include fever, rigors, and sweating. They can occur in patients of all ages but are especially common in elderly patients. These symptoms can also be accompanied by other disorders, such as polymyalgia rheumatic. The condition can be life-threatening if left untreated. A diagnosis of giant cell arteritis is made by a physical examination, laboratory tests, and a referral for a temporal artery biopsy.

Most patients have a marked increase in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), an inflammatory marker. Other indicators of inflammation include C-reactive protein (CRP) and hemoglobin levels. Some patients may also have reactive thrombocytosis. These tests can also be used to monitor the body’s response to treatment. Some patients may also be prescribed corticosteroids.

The disease usually causes irreversible blindness, but it can be prevented by early detection and treatment. It is usually caused by an immune system defect, and medications that weaken the immune system can help prevent recurrences.

Some patients with giant cell arteritis may be prescribed corticosteroids even before a biopsy is performed. It is important to monitor the side effects of corticosteroid treatment. Corticosteroids may also increase the risk of high blood pressure and osteoporosis. A test called bone mineral density is also used to monitor the adverse effects of corticosteroid treatment.

Giant cell arteritis can also affect large arteries, including the aorta. These arteries can become weakened and aneurysms can occur. It can also cause Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is a condition that causes the hands and feet to sweat and swell. Aortic aneurysms are very serious. Symptoms of giant cell arteritis can appear suddenly or appear over a period of days. Some patients may experience a sudden onset of symptoms, and others may be symptomatic for years before a diagnosis is made.

Symptoms of giant cell arteritis may also be accompanied by other diseases, such as polymyalgia, which is characterized by muscle pain and fatigue. Patients with polymyalgia may experience both fever and headache. In addition, patients may experience jaw, tongue, or limb claudication.

Patients may have vision impairments or double vision. They may also have jaw pain, a tender scalp, and a pulsating headache.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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