Medical Definition of Giant cell 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.

Giant cell arteritis: A serious disease characterized by inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels (vasculitis). The vessels affected by the inflammation are the arteries (hence the name "arteritis"). The age of affected patients is usually over 50 years of age. Giant cell arteritis can lead to blindness and/or stroke. It is detected by a biopsy of an artery. Giant cell arteritis is treated with high dose cortisone-related medications. Also called temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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