There are many types of vasculitis. Vasculitis is inflammation of the vascular system. Perhaps the most common type is called Giant Cell Arteritis or Temporal Arteritis.
Definition of Temporal Cell Arteritis
Temporal Cell arteritis is an autoimmune disease. The American College of Rheumatology developed a set of criteria. These include:
- Age > 50 years
- New onset of a headache
- Temporal Artery physical exam abnormality
- Temporal Artery biopsy abnormality
- Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
Patients are said to have Temporal Cell Arteritis if they have at least 3 of these symptoms. Patients have more than 90% sensitivity and specificity for the disease if they have at least 3 of the 5 criteria. A temporal artery biopsy is often required to establish a definitive diagnosis. This procedure is performed by a vascular surgeon.
Anatomy of Temporal Cell Arteritis
The temporal artery is an artery in the scalp that helps to supply oxygenated blood to the scalp and face. While this artery is typically the vessel tested for disease, the disease can affect many vessels in the body, especially those of the eye, head, and brain. When vessels have inflammation typical of temporal arteritis such as multinucleated giant cells, patients are said to have temporal arteritis.
Causes of Temporal Cell Arteritis
The body relies on its immune system to protect itself against foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites; however, sometimes the body’s immune system attacks itself. Although the ultimate cause of autoimmune disease is unclear, it may be related to the body attacking proteins in the body it sees as foreign. Ultimately, the cause of temporal cell arteritis is uncertain.
Symptoms of Temporal Cell Arteritis
The symptoms of temporal arteritis will vary. However, common symptoms include:
- Severe headache
- Vision loss in one or both eyes
- Jaw pain while chewing
- Tenderness over the forehead
Diagnosis of Temporal Cell Arteritis
Symptoms such as periodic vision loss, new headaches, and pain in the jaw while eating or talking are common symptoms. Ultimately, diagnosis of temporal cell arteritis usually requires an arterial biopsy for microscopic analysis.
Prevention of Temporal Cell Arteritis
Vasculitis is an example of an autoimmune condition. Currently, there is no way to prevent these conditions from developing. However, people with a family history of autoimmune disease may have an increased risk, although no particular genetic component has been identified.
Am I At Risk?
Patients over 50 years of age with new headaches should be seen by a physician to determine if further work-up is appropriate. Patients with other autoimmune conditions, such as polymyalgia rheumatic, are also likely at an increased risk for vasculitis and should be seen by a physician regularly.
Treatment of Temporal Cell Arteritis
Patients are usually treated with steroids. These are usually managed by the patient’s family physician or by a rheumatologist. Other supplements such as vitamin D or calcium may be also recommended to help prevent side effects from steroid treatment.
To learn more about treatment procedures for this condition please visit the following:
Patients in need of a Temporal Artery biopsy on Florida’s West Coast should locate an exceptional vascular surgeon who has the surgical skills necessary to perform these serious surgical operations for the benefit of their patients. Dr. J. Kazil is an admirable vascular surgeon who has developed an impressive track record of successful cases in treating blood clotting disorders. Dr. Kazil understands the important circumstances that drive the treatment with the accuracy and compassion that everyone expects from a good vascular surgeon. Dr. Jenna Kazil is a systematic vascular surgeon who performs open repair of temporal cell arteritis at various hospitals located in Manatee, Hillsborough, and Osceola counties. Jenna Kazil, MD, FACS, RPVI is a fine surgical specialist working as a general and vascular surgeon seeing patients from South Sarasota to East Desoto and Hardee to North Hillsborough to West Manatee and Pinellas counties. Patients requiring a temporal artery biopsy should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, FL today to schedule an appointment with an incomparable experienced surgeon that possesses a unique blend of expert skills and compassionate care.