WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Temporal arteritis (giant cell arteritis or cranial arteritis) is an inflammation of the lining of your arteries. It most often affects the temporal arteries. Temporal arteries are blood vessels that are located near your temples. Your arteries may become swollen, narrow, and tender. Over time, the swollen and narrowed temporal arteries cause decreased blood flow to the eyes, face, and brain. The lack of oxygen may result in other serious conditions, such as a stroke, heart attack, or blindness. Temporal arteritis may become life-threatening.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
Treatment with steroids may cause other health problems. These include osteoporosis, bone problems, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and weight gain. Other medicines may weaken the body's immune system and increase your risk for infections.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Steroids decrease inflammation.
- Antiplatelets help prevent blood clots. This medicine makes it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
- Vitamin D and calcium may be given while you are using steroid medicines. These supplements help prevent bone loss.
- Immune globulins may be given as an injection or an IV infusion to make your immune system stronger. You may need immune globulins to treat or prevent an infection. You may need many weeks of treatment. Each infusion can take from 2 to 5 hours.
- Immunosuppressants help control your immune system and decrease the swelling.
- A biopsy may be needed to remove a small part of your temporal arteries. The tissue will then be sent to a lab for tests.
- Blood tests may show signs of inflammation.
- A CT scan, MRI, or angiography may be done to take pictures of your temporal arteries. Angiography may show swelling and narrowing of your blood vessels. You may be given contrast dye to help the arteries show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
- A Doppler ultrasound may be used to check blood flow through an artery. It may show swollen, narrow, or blocked blood vessels.
- A PET scan shows the areas in your head where there are blood vessel problems. It also shows how much blood and oxygen is flowing to an area of the brain and other parts of the head.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.