How common is central nervous system (CNS) involvement in 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

In very rare cases, GCA involves the central nervous system (CNS), producing abnormal mental status, seizures, or strokes. This is despite the fact that GCA for the most part affects only vessels with an elastica, which intradural blood vessels do not have. However, involvement of the aortic arch vessels, including the subclavian arteries, can lead to subclavian steal syndrome and brain ischemia.

Peripheral nerve involvement is rare in GCA. For unknown reasons, renal involvement is also rare.


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