Polymyalgia Rheumatica (cont.)

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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.


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 12/8/2014

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