Temporal arteritis is inflammation of the arteries. It affects the arteries in the head, neck, and
upper body. The temporal artery is most often affected. It runs over the temple, to the outside of the eye. In extreme or untreated cases, this condition can lead to blindness or strokes.
Two other terms often associated with this condition include:
The cause of temporal arteritis is not known. It may result from an
autoimmune response in the body.
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system mistakes the body’s own tissue for a foreign invader, attacking and damaging it.
Temporal arteritis is more common in women, and in people aged 50 years and older. It is also more common among Caucasians, especially those of
Scandinavian or northern European descent. Other factors may increase your chance of getting temporal arteritis include:
Polymyalgia rheumatica—a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in muscles of the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and thighs
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Corticosteroid therapy is used to decrease the swelling and inflammation. It will also help decrease the risk of blindness. At first, high doses
are often given. The doses are then tapered off. Therapy is often continued for several years.
Long-term use of corticosteroids has some harmful side effects. These may include:
Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated November 2010. Accessed August 7, 2013.
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Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed August 7, 2013.
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Temporal arteritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 18, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2013.
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Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. JAMA Surgery. 2004;139(11):1146-1147.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.