Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) is a form of vasculitis, inflammation of the arteries. In GCA, the arteries in the head are most affected and for this reason is also known as Temporal Arthritis.

It is more common in women than men and occurs more often in whites than in blacks, Hispanics or Asians. Almost all patients who develop Giant Cell Arteritis are over the age of 50.

Symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite leading to weight loss
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Jaw, muscle, and joint pain
  • Vision impairment
  • Daily headaches are not uncommon and are often one-sided, with pain located especially at the temples. Blindness is a serious complication in untreated GCA.

Giant Cell Arteritis is treated with high doses of corticosteroids such as prednisone. Corticosteroid therapy can have complications so long-term use is not optimal.

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