What is the role of the immune system in the etiology of giant cell arteritis (GCA) (temporal arteritis)?

Updated: Sep 03, 2020
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The immune system (both cellular and humoral) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of GCA. The granulomatous histopathology of GCA has suggested the presence of an antigen-driven disease with local T-cell and macrophage activation in or near elastic tissue in the arterial walls with an important role of the proinflammatory cytokines. [31, 32] It may begin as a foreign body giant cell attack on calcified internal elastic membrane in the arteries and on calcified atrophic parts of the aortic media.


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