Temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis and cranial arteritis, is a relatively common form of vasculitis, especially in certain populations, that involves medium-sized and large arteries. It affects persons aged 50 and older and its frequency increases after that age. Temporal arteritis most commonly involves the proximal aorta, its branches to the neck, and arteries supplying the extra cranial structures of the head, but it may affect other vessels and tissues. Being familiar with the advances in pathogenesis and the widely varied manifestations of this condition should help in early recognition and prompt initiation of therapy with glucocorticoids which will prevent irreversible vascular complications.
Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:
- discuss current concepts in the diagnosis of temporal arteritis including use of imaging modalities
- identify evolving concepts of the treatment of temporal arteritis including the appropriate use of glucocorticoids and the efficacy of “steroid sparing” agents
- describe the relationship between temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica
- outline current concepts of the pathogenesis of temporal arteritis
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