Giant cell arteritis presenting with aortic dissection: two cases and review of the literature

Scand J Rheumatol. May-Jun 2006;35(3):233-6. doi: 10.1080/03009740500395252.


Aortitis is the most serious location of the disease giant cell (temporal) arteritis (GCA). Aortic dissection or the rupture of an aortic aneurysm can be responsible for sudden death among patients with GCA. This report discusses two cases of GCA presenting with aortic dissection. One case had histologically proven giant cell aortitis. The second case was a fatal aortic dissection preceded by a stroke. We describe the main features of aortic dissection and aortitis during GCA, reviewing the existing literature on this subject, and focusing on the requirement of prospective aortic imaging studies to screen patients with this kind of location.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / etiology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / etiology*
  • Aortitis / complications
  • Aortitis / diagnosis*
  • Aortitis / therapy
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / complications
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / diagnosis*
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stroke / complications