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August 2007

Rare Manifestation of Scalp Necrosis in Temporal Arteritis

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(8):1073-1087. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.8.1079

Temporal arteritis (TA), also known as giant cell arteritis, is a panarteritis of the medium and large vessels typically seen in patients older than 50 years. The mechanism of the disease is not completely understood, but it is believed to originate from a cellular autoimmune process focused on the internal elastic lamina of affected vessels. The frequency of TA is 10 to 50 per 100 000 people, and it is more commonly found in women (4:1), whites, and those of European descent.1 Hallmark symptoms include headache, jaw claudication, visual changes, polymyalgia rheumatica, fever, and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). In TA, over 90% of ESRs are higher than 50 mm/h, with typical values exceeding 100 mm/h. Herein we describe a very unusual presentation of TA and an extremely rare manifestation, scalp necrosis.

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