What does GCA mean in medical terms?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

What does GCA mean in medical terms?

Giant cell arteritis is an inflammation of the lining of your arteries. Most often, it affects the arteries in your head, especially those in your temples. For this reason, giant cell arteritis is sometimes called temporal arteritis.

How do you get giant cell arteritis?

Causes. The cause of GCA is uncertain but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the blood vessels, including the temporal arteries, which supply blood to the head and the brain. Genetic and environmental factors (such as infections) are thought to play important roles.

What is GCA in the eye?

Giant cell arteritis is inflammation of the arteries that can cause sudden blindness in one or both eyes. New onset headache and vision loss are the most common symptoms. People over the age of 50 years are at risk of developing the disease, for reasons unknown.

Can giant cell arteritis be cured?

Although there is no cure for temporal arteritis, the condition can be treated with medications. Temporal arteritis should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage caused by poor blood flow.

Is GCA a serious condition?

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a serious and difficult to diagnose autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the arteries, the major vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries in the head and neck, but also in the chest, are usually affected.

Does polymyalgia affect eyes?

Signs and symptoms include headaches, jaw pain, vision problems and scalp tenderness. If left untreated, this condition can lead to stroke or blindness.

Is GCA an emergency?

Giant cell arteritis (GCA), also known as temporal arteritis or Horton’s arteritis, is an inflammation T-lymphocyte mediated inflammation affecting the internal elastic lamina and external arteries of large and medium size. It is a medical emergency that can result in severe systemic and ocular complications.

How quickly does GCA progress?

Most symptoms in people with giant cell arteritis will develop gradually over one to two months, although rapid onset is possible. The most significant risk factors for giant cell arteritis are: Age > 50 years.

Can GCA go away?

GCA isn’t curable, but long-term treatment with steroid medications can put you into remission. If this treatment doesn’t work, or it causes side effects that you can’t tolerate, your doctor might also give you methotrexate or Actemra. Researchers are studying several other drugs for GCA.

What does the name GCA mean?

Giant cell arteritis (or GCA) is a medical condition that can cause pain and swelling in blood vessels. Blood vessels are tubes that carry blood around the body. GCA affects arteries, which are the largest of the three types of blood vessels. Arteries take blood with oxygen in from the heart to different parts of the body.

Does giant cell arteritis go away?

Giant cell arteritis tends to resolve itself within five years. Relapses occur most often in the first 18 months of treatment or within one year of completing treatment. About one in four people experience a relapse but it is impossible to know in advance which of those affected are at risk.

What causes giant cell arteritis?

Giant Cell Arteritis Causes. The cause of Giant cell arteritis is unknown but it is considered to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the blood vessels, including the temporal arteries. Genetic and environmental agents such as infections play an important role.

The GCA disease is relatively uncommon and can cause so many different symptoms, the diagnosis of GCA can be difficult to make. With appropriate therapy, Giant cell arteritis is an eminently treatable, controllable, and often curable disease.

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