Giant Cell Arteritis

  • Leonid Skorin, Jr., DO, OD, MS, FAAO, FAOCO Mayo Clinic Health System, Albert Lea, MN
  • Rebecca Lange, OD Whidbey Vision Care, Oak Harbor, WA

Abstract

Giant cell arteritis, also known as temporal arteritis, is a condition that can present in patients with a headache, scalp tenderness, anemia, jaw claudication, diplopia or sudden severe vision loss. The main differential diagnosis is non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Upon suspected diagnosis of giant cell arteritis, laboratory workup for erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and complete blood count are performed. A temporal artery biopsy serves as confirmatory evidence of the disease. The immediate treatment for suspected giant cell arteritis is systemic steroids. This article will review giant cell arteritis, its pathophysiology, patient symptomatology, differential diagnosis, and treatment. Included in this review will be a video of a temporal artery biopsy.