The cells of these inflamed arteries look giant under a microscope, which is how the condition got its name. When temporal arteritis is strongly suspected, a steroid medication called prednisone should be started very quickly. Medication can help your symptoms and prevent serious health issues. A pathologist carefully examines the tissue to look for evidence of inflammation and “giant cells.” This finding is the reason that temporal arteritis has another name—“Giant cell arteritis.”. PMR is an inflammatory condition that also causes swelling, but in your joints. Screening GCA patients for potential risk factors, including a weakened immune system, can help patients avoid most serious Actemra dangers. Family history of temporal arteritis; Infections caused by viruses, parasites, or bacteria; Conditions that affect your immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis; What are the signs and symptoms of temporal arteritis? Recently, a special, targeted immune-therapy called tocilizumab (Actemra®) has been approved for treatment of temporal arteritis. In patients with Temporal Arteritis eye pain can also arise due to chronic inflammation of the large arteries in the temple. Your doctor also might do one or more of these: When arteries are inflamed, blood can't move as easily through them. Other medications that may be used include methotrexate, a drug commonly used to treat cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and a biologic drug called tocilizumab (Actemra). Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: Definition and Stats, Of European descent -- especially if your family is from a country in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, or Finland), Vision problems such as blurred vision, double vision, or sudden vision loss, Pain in your shoulders, arms, neck, and hip. This is a simple procedure done in a doctor’s office. No single blood test will definitively diagnose temporal arteritis.To make a temporal arteritis diagnosis, a physician considers the patient's medical history (including symptoms that the patient reports), results of the physical exam, blood tests that rule out other possible diagnoses, and results of other procedures, including a temporal artery biopsy. Inflammation of arteries causes reduced blood flow, which is why this disease can cause severe symptoms. If anyone has it, would you mind telling me how long your headaches last? Doctors don't know what triggers this, but you're more likely to get it if you're: One of the main symptoms is a headache you feel in your temples and scalp. Dear Dr. Roach: Your recent column featured polymyalgia rheumatica and prednisone. The main treatment is high doses of steroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation in the arteries. If you have giant cell arteritis, your doctor will start you on medication right away to prevent vision loss and other problems. In some cases, the person can also have a painful feeling in the tongue region while talking or chewing foods. A follow-up study of 90 patients treated with corticosteroids. This includes the eye, brain and heart. While it can affect all medium to large arteries in the head, neck and upper torso, the involvement of the temporal artery is usually the only artery in which physical changes are clinically apparent (giving rise to the alternative name of temporal arteritis).