Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is inflammation of the arteries. The most common are the small and medium sized arteries in the head.
Temporal arteritis is a form of GCA. The temporal artery runs over the side of the head to the outer eye. This needs care right away to prevent vision loss or a stroke.
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The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam and eye exam may be done.
- Blood tests—to look for inflammation and rule out other causes
- Biopsy of the temporal artery
These are used to confirm the diagnosis.
Other imaging may also be done such as MRI, PET scan, and CAT scan.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (GCA; Temporal Arteritis)
Arthritis Foundation https://www.arthritis.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke https://www.ninds.nih.gov
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/giant-cell-arteritis-and-polymyalgia-rheumatica/. Accessed July 19, 2021.
Giant cell arteritis (including temporal arteritis). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/giant-cell-arteritis-including-temporal-arteritis . Accessed July 19, 2021.
Giant cell arteritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/giant-cell-arteritis. Accessed July 19, 2021.
Uppal S, Hadi M, et al. Updates in the diagnosis and management of giant cell arteritis. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2019;19(9):68.