Author(s): Kunst CH, Weiss ET, Klickstein LB
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Abstract A 74-year-old woman presented to her rheumatologist with classic symptoms of giant cell arteritis. The temporal arteries were strikingly swollen, warm, and erythematous. On biopsy of the right temporal artery, a focal dissection was found associated with a pan-arteritis and giant cells. Isolated temporal artery dissection in giant cell arteritis has not been reported previously. We propose that the unusually intense vascular inflammation may have weakened the vessel wall, so that the dissection occurred during the routine physical exam or biopsy. We believe this case illustrates that physicians should take special care in the examination of floridly inflamed vessels, because vigorous palpation might lead to dissection. In the case of patients with giant cell arteritis, dissection may result in an increased risk of ischemic complications, such as scalp necrosis.
This article was published in J Clin Rheumatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports