Fifty-seven patients, diagnosed with temporal arteritis by biopsy from 1981 to 1990, were studied. The average annual incidence rate/100,000 population aged 50 and older, which was slightly lower than those from other Mediterranean countries of Europe, was 6. Apart from a predominance of males, age, clinical and laboratory features were similar to those reported from other parts of the world. All patients received corticosteroid therapy, the majority of them recovered completely. Fifty-four were followed; 34 had already finished treatment (mean: 22 months, range: 12-50). Relapses occurred more commonly after 12 months of therapy, when the amount of prednisone given was low or discontinued.