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Giant Cell Arteritis


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Giant cell arteritis (also known as temporal arteritis) is due to inflammation of the arteries and occurs mostly in elderly persons. If not treated promptly, severe irreversible vision loss occurs due to poor circulation to the optic nerve and retina.

Symptoms of giant cell arteritis include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Difficult moving jaw
  • Headache
  • Tenderness of scalp
  • Neck pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Night sweat
  • Muscle ache


Blood tests - Blood tests including sedimentation rate and c-reactive protein to determine the presence of inflammation are recommended if the condition is considered.

Temporal artery biopsy - If your doctor suspects you have this condition, they may order a biopsy of a small piece of artery under your skin near your temple.

Visual field - A visual field test assesses both central and peripheral vision.

Optical coherence tomography - The test measures the thickness of the cell layers that make up the optic nerves to check for optic nerve damage.


Medication - You will need to receive prompt treatment of intravenous (by vein) or oral (by mouth) corticosteroid. This treatment often lasts months.

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System, is the top-rated facility in the country for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye, according to U.S. News & World Report. When you choose us for your eye care, you will receive the best care in the nation in a compassionate setting.

Innovative research. As part of the University of Miami Health System, we are on the leading edge of medical innovations. Our patients have opportunities to join clinical studies and our doctors' research and are trained in sophisticated treatments. They have developed techniques now in use around the world.

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