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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Giant cell arteritis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Arteritis cranialis
  • Arteritis temporalis
  • Cranial arteritis
  • GCA
  • Horton disease
Related Diseases
  • Secondary glomerular disease
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 inadequate 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 unknown, but an abnormal immune response has been suspected. It has been linked to severe infections and high doses of antibiotics. Early treatment is important and may include corticosteroids and/or other medications that suppress the immune system.[2]
Last updated: 8/24/2015

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) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • 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
  • Arteritis cranialis
  • Arteritis temporalis
  • Cranial arteritis
  • GCA
  • Horton disease
Related Diseases
  • Secondary glomerular disease
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.