What are the signs and symptoms 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 onset of giant cell arteritis (GCA) may be either abrupt or insidious. [55] GCA may begin with constitutional manifestations such as anorexia, fever, malaise, myalgia, night sweat, and weight loss. These prodromal symptoms may occur for a few days and may even stretch out to weeks.

The most commonly reported symptoms in patients with GCA are as follows:

  • Headache (initial symptom in 33%, present in 72%)
  • Neck, torso, shoulder, and pelvic girdle pain that is consistent with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR; initial in 25%, present in 58%)
  • Fatigue and malaise (initial in 20%, present in 56%)
  • Jaw claudication (initial in 4%, present in 40%)
  • Fever (initial in 11%, present in 35%)

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