Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Arteritis, Giant Cell


Synonyms of Arteritis, Giant Cell
  • Cranial Arteritis
  • GCA
  • Granulomatous Arteritis
  • Temporal Arteritis (Horton's disease)

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica


General Discussion
Giant cell arteritis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the progressive inflammation of many arteries of the body (panarteritis). Granular material and abnormally large cells (giant cells) accumulate in the elastic lining of the arteries. Chronic inflammation is sometimes confined to the different branches of the heart's main artery (aorta) and any large arteries can become inflamed. However, the temporal arteries of the head are most frequently affected (temporal arteritis). In rare cases, veins may also be affected by giant cell arteritis.

The symptoms of giant cell arteritis may include stiffness, muscle pain, fever, and/or headaches. The exact cause of this disease is not fully understood, although it is thought to be an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue.

Giant cell arteritis is closely related to polymyalgia rheumatica, another inflammatory disorder. These two disorders have been described in the medical literature as possible variants of the same disease process. Some researchers believe they represent different ends of a disease continuum. The exact nature of the association is not fully understood.
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Organizations related to Arteritis, Giant Cell
  • American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
    22100 Gratiot Avenue
    Eastpointe MI 48021
    Phone #: 586-776-3900
    800 #: 800-598-4668
    e-mail: aarda@aarda.org
    Home page: http://www.aarda.org/
  • AutoImmunity Community
    None
    None None None
    Phone #: (91-9) -552-9057
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: bandrews@autoimmunitycommunity.org
    Home page: http://autoimmunitycommunity.org
  • NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center
    P.O. Box 30105
    Bethesda MD 20824-0105
    Phone #: 301-592-8573
    800 #: --
    e-mail: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
    Home page: N/A
  • Vasculitis Foundation
    P.O. Box 28660
    Kansas City MO 64188
    Phone #: 816-436-8211
    800 #: 800-277-9474
    e-mail: vf@vasculitisfoundation.org
    Home page: http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html