Temporal arteritis

Disease information

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Temporal arteritis
Temporal arteritis.

Inflammatory disease of the great arteries.

It is often associated with polymyalgia rheumatica.

It affects the arteries of the muscles, eyes and connective tissue. The involvement of the temporal artery is typical.

Sex and age.

It is a disease that affects mainly women (4 out of every five affected) usually from the fifties.


Autoimmune disease with inflammatory infiltrate of the arteries, of unknown cause.

Signs and symptoms.

Something of a fever.

Muscle involvement, especially in trunk arms and legs:

Muscle stiffness,

Dolores, especially in the mornings.

Pulsating severe headache (usually in a temple)

Redness, swelling and pulsating nodules along the temporal artery on one side of the head.

Loss of appetite.

Loss of vision.

Loss of force to chew.

Hypersensitivity of the scalp.

Risk Factors.


Older than 60 years.



Diagnosis and Treatment.


History and physical examination by a doctor.

Blood tests (sedimentation rate, white blood cell count and evidence of anemia)

Biopsy of the temporal artery.

TREATMENT: Apply heat to the General painful side of the head.

You can use hot or a solar lamp.

Carefully massage the back of the neck and sore muscles.


Your doctor may prescribe:

High doses of steroids until the acute phase.

This relieves symptoms dramatically, altering the inflammation that causes.

In the lengthy treatment with corticosteroids, the lowest dose that controls symptoms taken every other day reduces the complications of treatment, although not always possible.

Immunosuppressive drug - alone or with cortisone, if other treatments have failed.

These drugs involve additional risks, including widespread severe bacterial infections.


Without restrictions.


There is a special diet.

Advise your doctor if.

Have symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis. It's an emergency!

The following occurs during treatment:

Fever of 38 degrees C.

New unexplained symptoms.

The drugs used in treatment can cause side effects.


Without treatment:

Loss of vision. If it is affecting the blood vessels of the eye, is an emergency.

Allocation of vessels of the heart.


Poor blood circulation in his arms and legs.

With treatment:

You may need drugs to steroids for many months.

The complications of cortisone in the long term are significant, including osteoporosis and peptic ulcer.


It can be cured, although there is the possibility of a relapse.

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