INTRODUCTIONPolymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) are inflammatory conditions that affect different parts of the body. They are frequently discussed together because:
- Polymyalgia rheumatica occurs in about 50 percent of people with giant cell arteritis
- Approximately 15 to 30 percent of people with polymyalgia rheumatica have giant cell arteritis
Some people with one disorder later develop symptoms of the other.
More detailed information about polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis (GCA) is available by subscription. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica" and "Diagnosis of giant cell (temporal) arteritis".)
Temporal arteritis is also called giant cell arteritis. It frequently affects medium and large artery branches that originate from the neck and travel into the head. People with temporal arteritis sometimes have a raised, tender blood vessel located in the temple.
Aneurysm of the thoracic aorta
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a widening or dilation in the main artery that carries blood from the heart. Intact thoracic aortic aneurysms cause no health problems. However, large aneurysms can burst, or rupture, allowing excessive bleeding into the abdomen or chest. A ruptured aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency, and immediate treatment is needed.
Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell (temporal) arteritis