Temporal arteritis can be called giant cell arteritis due to the granulomatous response producing giant cells when the inflammation occurs more in the neck, upper body, and arms.
The inflammation seen in temporal arteritis is a granulomatous inflammation which occurs when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to completely eliminate the substance.
This disease occurs primarily in older females.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness primarily in proximal muscles in the neck, shoulders, upper arms and the proximal leg muscles. Many patients with temporal arteritis have coexisting polymyalgia rheumatica.
Due to the inflammation of the blood vessels supplying the temporal region, patients with temporal arteritis will often present with a unilateral headache.
Jaw claudication refers to pain or discomfort in the jaw or ear when chewing. It is commonly seen in patients with temporal arteritis.
Inflammation of the ophthalmic artery can threaten vision and cause blindness if not treated promptly.
ESR stands for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which is an indirect test of inflammation in the body. Patients with temporal arteritis have a characteristically elevated ESR.
Creatine kinase is a marker of muscle breakdown and will be elevated in pathologies like myocardial infarction and rhabdomyolysis. In temporal arteritis, serum creatine kinase is not elevated.
Steroids are potent anti-inflammatory drug used to treat temporal arteritis. Patients complaining of visual deficits must be treated with high dose steroids to prevent permanent blindness.
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