Arteritis, Giant Cell

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Arteritis, Giant Cell is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Temporal Arteritis (Horton's disease)
  • Cranial Arteritis
  • GCA
  • Granulomatous Arteritis

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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Resources

Vasculitis Foundation
P.O. Box 28660
Kansas City, MO 64188
USA
Tel: (816)436-8211
Fax: (816)436-8211
Tel: (800)277-9474
Email: vf@vasculitisfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI 48021
Tel: (586)776-3900
Fax: (586)776-3903
Tel: (800)598-4668
Email: aarda@aarda.org
Internet: http://www.aarda.org/

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223
Email: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

AutoImmunity Community
Tel: (919) 552-9057
Email: bandrews@autoimmunitycommunity.org
Internet: http://autoimmunitycommunity.org

For a Complete Report

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

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