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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Giant cell arteritis


Other Names for this Disease
  • GCA
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Cranial arteritis
  • Horton’s disease
  • Horton's arteritis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a form of vasculitis, a group of disorders that cause inflammation of blood vessels. In GCA, the vessels of the head are most involved (especially the temporal arteries, located on each side of the head), but other blood vessels can also become inflamed. The inflammation causes the arteries to narrow, resulting in poor blood flow.[1] Signs and symptoms may include a throbbing headache on one side of the head or the back of the head; tenderness of the scalp; various symptoms that feel like the flu; and/or problems with eyesight. The cause of GCA is still being studied, but an abnormal immune response has been implicated. Several genetic and environmental factors may increase a person's risk to develop GCA. Early treatment is important and may include corticosteroids and/or other medications that suppress the immune system.[2]
Last updated: 4/5/2016

References

  1. Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis. NIAMS. April, 2015; http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Polymyalgia/default.asp.
  2. Temporal arteritis. MedlinePlus. February 6, 2013; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000448.htm.
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Basic Information

  • The Mayo Clinic Web site provides further information on Giant cell arteritis.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manual provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Giant cell arteritis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • GCA
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Cranial arteritis
  • Horton’s disease
  • Horton's arteritis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.