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J Vasc Surg. 2006 May;43(5):1053-5.

Giant-cell temporal arteritis in a 17-year-old male.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA.


Temporal arteritis, particularly in its classic form, is exceedingly rare in individuals <50 years old. We report the youngest case of biopsy-proven giant cell temporal arteritis. A 17-year-old male presented with a progressively expanding and pulsatile but otherwise asymptomatic mass in his forehead. The patient's medical history was significant for uveitis since the age of 3, and severe allergic rhinitis, mild asthma, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as a young adolescent. Admission laboratory values included a mildly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level. A computed tomography evaluation demonstrated aneurysmal degeneration of the frontal branch of the right superficial temporal artery and confirmed no other cerebrovascular changes. Histologically, the aneurysmal arterial segment demonstrated subacute temporal arteritis. The arterial wall had a primarily lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate with rare giant cells and focally marked medial destruction. Additionally, severely obstructive intimal hyperplasia with chronic adventitial and periadvential dense fibrosis was noted. The diagnosis of classic giant cell temporal arteritis was established from the biopsy result. Postoperatively, the patient was treated with prednisone for 3 months. Three years after surgery, the patient remains well and reports no recurrence of temporal artery disease.

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