Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) & Giant Cell Arteritis (Temporal Arteritis)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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Can giant cell arteritis be prevented?

There is no prevention for giant cell arteritis. Prevention measures focus on preventing side effects of medications used to treat giant cell arteritis.

What are complications of giant cell arteritis?

Giant cell arteritis can lead to blindness and/or stroke. This is because, in some patients with giant cell arteritis, inflammation of the arteries that supply oxygen to the eyes and brain can impair the circulation to these organs.

Additional complications can result from medications used to treat giant cell arteritis. These include cataracts, bruising of skin, weight gain, and osteoporosis from cortisone medications. Therefore, the lowest possible doses of medications and counter-measures are used to minimize long-term risks.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

REFERENCES:

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2000.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2016

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