(Giant Cell Arteritis) can make
Temporal arteritis, known as giant cell
arteritis, is an inflammatory condition
affecting the medium-sized blood vessels
that supply the head, eyes, and optic
nerves. The disease usually affects
those over 60 years of age and causes the
vessels in the temple and scalp to become
swollen and tender. Women are
approximately 4 times more likely to suffer
from this disease then men.
a thick temporal artery Visible on the forehead.
The major concern with temporal arteritis is vision
loss, although if allowed to progress, it may affect
arteries in other areas of the body. This
condition is potentially vision threatening, however, if
treated promptly, permanent vision loss can be
prevented. Vision is threatened when the inflamed
arteries obstruct blood flow to the eyes andoptic
nerves. If untreated, permanent vision loss can
occur from oxygen deprivation to the retina and optic
Signs and Symptoms
Patients with temporal arteritis usually notice visual
symptoms in one eye at first, but as many as 50% may
notice symptoms in the fellow eye within days if the
condition is untreated.
Detection and Diagnosis
Looking in the Fundus of the EYE
You see a pale disc in the center
When temporal arteritis is suspected, the doctor will
order blood tests including a erythrocyte (red
blood cell) sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive
protein test. The
ESRtest measures the time it takes for the
erythrocytes to collect in the bottom of a test tube.
The sediment layer of erythrocytes is measured in
millimeters and recorded. An abnormally high
ESR is indicative of active inflammation.