Temporal arteritisis a large vessel vasculitis that affects the superficialtemporal arteries and it can also affectthe ophthalmic arteries which I'll touch on a little bit later but the superficial temporal arteries give this vasculitis its name. Also note that there'sanother name that this goes by and it's called giant cell arteritis.
Giant cell arteritisrefers to what you see under a microscope and we'll also take a look at that in a little while as well. First, I really want tofocus on the general symptoms that you see in the body. To understand these general symptoms, let's take a look at a blood vessel
and what I'm going to do is draw two sides of a blood vessel and imagine this is a cross section. This right here that I'm shading in is the wall of the blood vessel. Remember, blood vessels are like pipes and blood travels through these pipes. To really give you some dimension,
let's kind of make this look a little 3D. You can see, we're just taking a slice right down the middle of it and like in other vasculitis, you have antibodies that attach onto the blood vessel wall. These antibodies recruitwhite blood cells over and these white blood cellscome in and cause damage.
Now, this is all in the stake. These antibodies areaccidentally targeting the blood vessel wall and causing damage by recruiting white blood cells. They're acting as a signal marker for these white blood cells. The release of all thesedamaging components and other immune peptides, immune proteins
can go downstream down the blood vessel. They can travel throughout this body and you may actually seesymptoms like fevers, chills, night sweats, fatigue, myalgias which are muscle aches, sogenerally feeling crummy. This is really caused by the immune system releasing all of thesemolecules to fight off what it thinks is an infection.