National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Giant Cell Arteritis is the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Giant cell arteritis is a disorder that causes inflammation of arteries of the scalp, neck, and arms. It narrows the arteries, which keeps blood from flowing well. Giant cell arteritis often occurs with another disorder called polymyalgia rheumatica. Both are more common in women than in men. They almost always affect people over the age of 50.
Early symptoms of giant cell arteritis resemble the flu: fatigue, loss of appetite, and fever. Other symptoms include
Your doctor will make the diagnosis based on your medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam. There is no single test to diagnose giant cell arteritis, but you may have tests that measure inflammation.
Treatment is usually with corticosteroids. Early treatment is important; otherwise there is a risk of permanent vision loss or stroke. However, when properly treated, giant cell arteritis rarely comes back.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)