Giant cell arteritis causing symmetric bilateral posterior circulation infarcts

Devin D. Mackay, Graham R. Huesmann, Roseann I. Wu, James R. Stone, Misha L. Pless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An 82-year-old woman presented with bilateral, symmetric posterior circulation infarctions secondary to giant cell arteritis (GCA). Her atypical clinical presentation included a lack of headache and fever, but she exhibited signs of systemic illness including generalized weakness, cachexia, apathy, and anemia. Laboratory testing revealed a markedly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, but only a borderline elevated C-reactive protein. Head and neck vascular imaging demonstrated a pattern of vertebral arterial narrowing consistent with GCA - a diagnosis confirmed by temporal artery biopsy. Her unusual symptomatic, laboratory, and imaging presentation highlights the importance of considering GCA in the differential diagnosis of unusual bilateral stroke syndromes, where early treatment decreases morbid outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-396
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • giant cell arteritis
  • posterior circulation
  • stroke
  • temporal arteritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Giant cell arteritis causing symmetric bilateral posterior circulation infarcts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this