A RECENT concept regards giant-cell arteritis as a systemic disease of unknown cause, affecting primarily large and medium-sized arteries.1 The histological appearance is that of a panarteritis, with the inflammatory changes occurring mainly in the media, where focal necrosis and granulomatous inflammation with giant cells occur. The internal elastic lamina may be disrupted, and there may be diffuse fibrotic thickening of the intima, with narrowing of the lumen and often thrombus formation.2
This disease, which usually affects the aged, often is self-limited, but is sometimes fatal. Paulley and Hughes3 described the protean manifestations of giant-cell arteritis, the varying modes of clinical presentation depending upon the specific arteries or groups of arteries involved, as well as their respective organ systems. Classical temporal arteritis, as described by Hutchinson4 and Horten et al,5 is one manifestation of the disease. However, the disease may occur without headache.6 Extracranial
Polasky N, Polasky SH, Magenheim H, Abrams NR. Giant-Cell Arteritis: Review and Report of Case. JAMA. 1965;191(4):341–343. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080040083030
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