Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Giant Cell Arteritis Overview

Another name for Giant Cell Arteritis is Temporal Arteritis.

What is temporal arteritis?
A person with temporal arteritis has inflammation and damage to the temporal artery, which is located over the temple. The cause of temporal arteritis is unknown. About 1 out of 5,000 adults over the age of 50 develop temporal arteritis in the US each year. With treatment, symptoms usually resolve in 2 years. Without treatment, temporal arteritis can cause blindness.

What are the symptoms of temporal arteritis?
The most common symptom of temporal arteritis includes severe headaches located in the temple. Additional symptoms include tenderness or swelling over the temple, jaw pain, blurry vision, and sore throat.

How does the doctor treat temporal arteritis?
Treatment for temporal arteritis may include oral corticosteroid medication, medications that suppress the immune system, calcium supplements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or narcotic pain medications.

Continue to Giant Cell Arteritis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Giant Cell Arteritis References
  1. Barilla-LaBarca ML, Lenschow DJ, Brasington RD Jr. Polymyalgia rheumatica/temporal arteritis: recent advances. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2002 Feb;4(1):39-46. [11798981]
  2. Rahman W, Rahman FZ. Giant cell (temporal) arteritis: an overview and update. Surv Ophthalmol. 2005 Sep-Oct;50(5):415-28. [16139037]
  3. Redillas C, Solomon S. Recent advances in temporal arteritis. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2003 Aug;7(4):297-302. [12828879]
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