Systemic vasculitis affecting medium to large arteries is at the heart of pathogenesis, which is a long-term inflammatory process resulting in the production of various cytokines.
Physical exam may detect tenderness over the temporal arteries, as well as reduced visual acuity.
Medical treatment typically involves high doses of corticosteroids, which should be maintained only as long as symptoms resolve, followed by a gradual taper to a maintenance dosage over several months.
Relapse is not uncommon in giant cell arteritis and should be guarded against.
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