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Temporal arteritis: what is it, symptoms and treatment

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Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis, is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the arteries of the blood circulation, and produces symptoms such as headache, fever, stiffness and weakness of the mastication muscles, anemia, tiredness and, in the most serious cases, it can cause blindness.

This disease is detected by the doctor through physical examination, blood analysis and artery biopsy, which presents inflammation. The treatment is guided by the rheumatologist and, despite not having a cure, the illness can be controlled very well with the use of medications, especially corticosteroids, such as prednisone.

Temporal arteritis is more common in people older than 50 years and, although its cause is still not well understood, it is known that it is related to an imbalance in the immune system. This condition is a form of vasculitis, a type of rheumatic disease that affects blood circulation and can cause the affectation of various parts of the body.



main symptoms

Inflammation of the walls of the blood vessels causes generalized symptoms that make it difficult to circulate within the affected vessel, especially in the temporal artery, located in the face; in addition to others such as the ophthalmic artery, carotid arteries, aorta or coronary arteries, for example.

So, the main signs and symptoms are:

  • Dolor de cabeza or in el cuero hair, which can be strong and pulsatile;
  • Sensitivity and pain in the temporal artery, which is located on the side of the head;
  • Pain and weakness in the jaw, which appears after chewing or chewing for a long time, improving with rest;
  • Recurrent fever and no apparent cause;
  • Anemia;
  • Fatigue and general malaise;
  • lack of appetite;
  • weight loss;

In certain cases, serious alterations can arise, such as loss of vision, sudden blindness or aneurysms; however, these can be avoided with the diagnosis and the carrying out of the treatment as soon as possible by the rheumatologist.

Apart from these symptoms, it is common that temporal arteritis is accompanied by polymyalgia rheumatica, which is another disease that causes inflammation of the muscles and joints, causing pain in the body, weakness and malaise in the joints, mainly of the hips and shoulders.



How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of temporal arteritis is carried out through a clinical evaluation by a physician or a rheumatologist, apart from the performance of blood analysis, which demonstrates inflammation, such as the elevation of the VSG levels, which can reach values ​​above 100 mm.

The confirmation, without embargo, is confirmed by the biopsy of the temporal artery, which will demonstrate the inflammatory changes directly in the vessel.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment of giant cell arteritis is guided by a rheumatologist and is carried out to alleviate the symptoms and prevent loss of vision, with the use of corticosteroids such as prednisone, in doses with gradual reduction. The use of medication takes place at least 3 months, varying according to the improvement of the symptoms.

Likewise, the doctor can also prescribe analgesics and antipyretics, such as paracetamol, to relieve symptoms such as fever, fatigue and general malaise, if they are present.

The illness can be controlled well with the treatment and, usually, it disappears or if the symptoms are lessened; however, this may reappear after a time, which varies with the response of each person’s organism.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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