Giant cell arteritis

A serious disease characterized by inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels (vasculitis). The vessels affected by the inflammation are the arteries (hence the name "arteritis"). The age of affected patients is usually over 50 years of age. Giant cell arteritis can lead to blindness and/or stroke. It is detected by a biopsy of an artery. Giant cell arteritis is treated with high dose cortisone-related medications. Also called temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis.

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giant cell arteritis n arterial inflammation that often involves the temporal arteries and may lead to blindness when the ophthalmic artery and its branches are affected, is characterized by the formation of giant cells, and may be accompanied by fever, malaise, fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, and arthralgia called also temporal arteritis

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a chronic vascular disease in the elderly, of unknown origin, often associated with polymyalgia rheumatica, seen usually in the external carotid arteries but sometimes in other arteries. Characteristics include proliferative inflammation, often with giant cells and granulomas; headache; pain with chewing; weight loss; fever; sometimes ocular symptoms; and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Called also cranial, granulomatous, or temporal a. and Horton a., disease, or syndrome.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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