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Cranial arteritis

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Cranial arteritis --> giant cell arteritis

(Science: pathology) An inflammatory condition of the temporal artery. It is a serious chronic vascular disease, characterised by inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels (vasculitis).

The age of affected patients is usually over 50 years of age. It most often involves the carotid artery system, and can lead to blindness or stroke.

It can be diagnosed by biopsy of an artery, but there is often a false negative result. Elevation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate is typical.

treatment is with high dose steroids.

Common symptoms include headaches and tenderness over the temple (temporal artery). Can be associated with polymyalgia rheumatica.

See: polymyalgia rheumatica.

Synonym: cranial arteritis, temporal arteritis