Giant Cell Arteritis: Symptoms & Signs

Giant cell arteritis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the arteries, a type of blood vessel. It most commonly affects the arteries in the head and typically occurs in people over age 50. Giant cell arteritis is also referred to as cranial arteritis or temporal arteritis.

Signs and symptoms of giant cell arteritis include

  • headaches,
  • jaw pain with chewing, and
  • scalp tenderness (usually over the inflamed arteries of the sides of the head).

Other associated symptoms and signs can include

More serious symptoms and complications can include

Arm pain is a possible but less common symptom.

Cause of giant cell arteritis

The exact cause of giant cell arteritis is not understood.

Other giant cell arteritis symptoms and signs

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2020
References
Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.