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Giant Cell Arteritis Signs and Symptoms

Giant cell arteritis belongs to the family of autoimmune diseases called vasculitis.  It affects the larger arteries leading to the head, especially those in the temples.   For this reason it is sometimes called temporal arteritis or cranial arteritis.  Women are more likely to get giant cell artertis than are men.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of giant cell arteritis below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, supportive natural therapies, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Giant Cell Arteritis include:

  • Persistent ache or pain in the temple area
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Scalp tenderness

Symptoms of giant cell arteritis are usually relieved by corticosteroid drugs.  It is important to see your doctor if you have unexplained persistent headaches, especially on one side of the temples.  Some people have muscle aches, fever and fatigue, as well as headaches.

Diagnosis of Giant Cell Arteritis

A temporal artery biopsy is the standard method of diagnosis of giant cell arteritis.  Other possible tests include an MRI/angiography, a PET scan and a duplex ultrasound.  A physician may also physically examine your temporal arteries to see if they are tender, or if they have a hard cord-like feel or appearance.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant Cell Arteritis – An Elusive Odyssey
James Rupp
Giant Cell Arteritis – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications

21st Century Ultimate Medical Guide to Giant Cell Arteritis, Temporal Arteritis – Authoritative Clinical Information for Physicians and Patients (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health News
21st Century Complete Medical Guide to Temporal Arteritis (Giant Cell Arteritis) and Polymyalgia Rheumatica: Authoritative Government Documents, Clinical … Information for Patients and Physicians
PM Medical Health News

Giant Cell Arteritis Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Vasculitis Foundation

The Vasculitis Foundation supports and empowers patients through education, awareness and research.

  • Net Doctor

Find out what the causes, symptoms and treatment are of giant cell arteritis. … Discussion forums; Get a quote for private treatment; Health services guide

  • Experience Project

Message board for the experience group I Have Horton Giant Cell Arteritis. Post in discussion forums and talk with a community of people like you.

  • About . Com

Coping Strategies / Solutions; Advice / Support / Forums; Arthritis Basics

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this blood vessel disorder.

  • The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center

Description of who gets Giant Cell Arteritis (the “typical” patients) – Classic symptoms of Giant Cell Arteritis What causes Giant Cell Arteritis? How is Giant Cell Arteritis diagnosed?

  • Web MD

Medical references, latest news, treatment overview.