Giant Cell Arteritis

  • Elizabeth M. Palkovacs
  • Fiona Costello
  • Karl C. Golnik


Giant cell arteritis is one of the most feared conditions in ophthalmology because visual loss can be sudden, severe and permanent. Patients are typically over the age of 50. Presenting symptoms may include headache, scalp tenderness, fatigue, malaise, fever, jaw claudication, and transient or constant diplopia or visual loss. Occasionally, ophthalmic symptoms occur in the absence of common systemic symptoms. Thus, ophthalmologists must maintain a high level of suspicion. Evaluation includes complete blood count with differential, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. Temporal artery biopsy should be obtained if there is any question to confirm the diagnosis. Prompt corticosteroid treatment (prior to the temporal artery biopsy) should be instituted.


Giant cell arteritis Temporal arteritis Arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth M. Palkovacs
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fiona Costello
    • 3
    • 4
  • Karl C. Golnik
    • 5
  1. 1.Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical GroupSouth San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.The Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical GroupDaly CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Clinical NeurosciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.University of Cincinnati and The Cincinnati Eye InstituteCincinnatiUSA

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