Temporal arteritis in the young

Joint Bone Spine. 2013 May;80(3):324-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2012.09.012. Epub 2012 Nov 9.


Temporal arteritis in the form of giant cell arteritis (GCA) is common in the elderly but is extremely rare in patients less than 50 years of age. We describe two male patients: one who presented at the age of 31 years with painful, nodular swellings of both temporal arteries and whose temporal artery biopsy demonstrated a non-giant cell panarteritis with mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate typical of juvenile temporal arteritis (JTA); another one, aged 40 years, who presented with headache and cerebral angiography consistent with an intracranial vasculitis and whose temporal artery biopsy confirmed an authentic multinucleated GCA. The first patient spontaneously improved after biopsy and the second patient has responded well to corticosteroid therapy. These two cases exemplify well two distinct but extremely rare forms of temporal arteritis in young patients. A 3rd subset is that associated with a systemic vasculitis. Few cases of JTA have been reported and, to our knowledge, we describe in this report one of the only cases of GCA with central nervous system involvement in the young.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / complications
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / pathology*
  • Headache / etiology
  • Headache / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Temporal Arteries / pathology*