A 71-year-old female presents with pain and a throbbing, right-sided headache. Examination reveals a tender temporal artery, and a biopsy is immediately done. What are the classic histopathology findings?
Select Your Answer:
Histopathology in giant cell arteritis (GCA) reveals inflammatory infiltrate surrounding a fragmented internal elastic lamina within the media of an arterial wall.
The infiltrate consists predominantly of mononuclear cells with giant cell formation.
Patients should be placed on high-dose corticosteroids as soon as the diagnosis is suspected to prevent blindness.
As GCA is a disease characterized by cell-mediated immunity, the pathophysiology is thought to involve the body's inappropriate response to vascular endothelial injury. The initial insult to the vascular wall causes a massive release of cytokines, in turn attracting macrophages and multinucleated giant cells. This inflammatory cascade causes activation of CD4 helper T cells, causing further inflammation and hyperplasia.
*eMedicine, Google Scholar, UpToDate, WheelessOnline, and DermNet are not affiliated with StatPearls. We do not control their content or advertising.
Adult Lab Normals
Pediatric Lab Normals
Varicella zoster virus and giant cell arteritis., Gilden D,Nagel MA,, Current opinion in infectious diseases, 2016 Feb 11 [PubMed]
Magnetic resonance imaging findings in giant cell arteritis., D'Souza NM,Morgan ML,Almarzouqi SJ,Lee AG,, Eye (London, England), 2016 Feb 26 [PubMed]
Length of temporal artery biopsies., Au C,Sharma N,McCluskey P,Ghabrial R,, Clinical & experimental ophthalmology, 2016 Feb 29 [PubMed]
Diagnosis of giant cell arteritis: when should we biopsy the temporal artery?, Hussain O,McKay A,Fairburn K,Doyle P,Orr R,, The British journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery, 2016 Jan 16 [PubMed]
Diagnostic value of high-resolution MR imaging in giant cell arteritis., Bley TA,Uhl M,Carew J,Markl M,Schmidt D,Peter HH,Langer M,Wieben O,, AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology, 2007 Oct [PubMed]
New developments in Giant Cell Arteritis., Frohman L,Wong AB,Matheos K,Leon-Alvarado LG,Danesh-Meyer HV,, Survey of ophthalmology, 2016 Jan 13 [PubMed]
Imaging in Giant Cell Arteritis., Khan A,Dasgupta B,, Current rheumatology reports, 2015 Aug [PubMed]
Giant cell arteritis: Current treatment and management., Ponte C,Rodrigues AF,O'Neill L,Luqmani RA,, World journal of clinical cases, 2015 Jun 16 [PubMed]
Giant cell arteritis., Smith JH,Swanson JW,, Headache, 2014 Sep [PubMed]
The diagnosis and classification of giant cell arteritis., Nesher G,, Journal of autoimmunity, 2014 Feb-Mar [PubMed]
Review of Giant cell arteritis., Chacko JG,Chacko JA,Salter MW,, Saudi journal of ophthalmology : official journal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society, 2015 Jan-Mar [PubMed]
Baseline clinical predictors of an ultimate giant cell arteritis diagnosis in patients referred to temporal artery biopsy., Grossman C,Barshack I,Koren-Morag N,Ben-Zvi I,Bornstein G,, Clinical rheumatology, 2016 Mar 1 [PubMed]