Giant cell arteritis — granulomatous arteritis of the main branches of the aorta, mainly extracranial branches of the carotid artery with frequent lesions of the temporal artery. Usually, in patients over 50 years of age, and often begins with polymyalgia rheumatica.
Depending on the localization and pathogenesis, giant cell arteritis is conditionally subdivided into the following types:
The causes of giant cell arteritis disease are not fully understood, but its main causes are immune disorders, characterized by the predominance of viruses and bacteria in the affected areas. Often the disease is preceded by mycoplasma, parvovirus, and chlamydial infections.
Temporal arteritis symptoms highlight general and vascular ones, as well as damage to the organs of vision.
To avoid the development of dangerous complications, the patient should consult a doctor even with the slightest suspicion of giant cell arteritis symptoms: chronic pain in the head and face, constant fatigue, frequent increases in body temperature.
The detection of giant cell arteritis is complicated by the fact that it has symptoms similar to those of other diseases. External examination includes palpation of arteries and veins, which may be hard, swollen, or painful in the presence of disease. The diagnostics may include:
After diagnosis, the patient is given high doses of corticosteroids. It is recommended to continue treatment for about a month, after which the dose is gradually reduced so that therapy is canceled within 10-12 months.
This scheme gives good results in 90% of patients and allows you to normalize body temperature and ESR level in the blood. After reducing the dose, the patient should be under constant supervision of the attending physician. Hormone therapy is currently considered the only temporal arteritis treatment that can rapidly suppress the symptoms and manifestations of giant cell arteritis. The effectiveness of other techniques has not yet been confirmed.