Vol 6, No 2 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-07-09
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Giant cell arteritis — clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment

Magdalena Żychowska1
Forum Dermatologicum 2020;6(2):59-62.


A systemic vasculitis is a diverse group of disorders, in which the immune-mediated inflammatory process primarily affects the walls of blood vessels. Giant cell arteritis (GCA), classified according to the International Chapel Hill Consensus Conference (2012) in the group of large vessel vasculitis, is a condition of a not fully understood aetiology, which predominantly affects women over 50 years of age. The initial phase of the disease is characterized by unspecific general symptoms. The paper aims to highlight the dermatological manifestations of the condition. GCA should be suspected in patients with erythema and oedema of the skin above the temporal artery and macular/bullous eruption or hair loss in the temporal area. In GCA, scalp necrosis, sometimes extensive and bilateral, as well as glossitis with bullous eruption or necrosis, may also occur. Treatment with systemic corticosteroids (CS) should be started as soon as the suspicion of GCA is raised to avoid irreversible complications, including permanent blindness.

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