Temporal Arteritis : Mnemonic

The 1990 ACR criteria for temporal arteritis can be remembered using the mnemonic: TEMPL3

T: Temporal artery abnormality (Tenderness or reduced pulse)

E: Elevated ESR (50 mm/hr or more)

M: Multinucleate giant cells (Present on biopsy)

P: Pain (New onset localized headache)

L: Later life (Age 50 years or over at onset)

3: 3 out of 5 criteria above needed to make diagnosis

From Correspondence of Alex Cumberworth/Joseph M Norris/Fuad Huq/Matthew Smith in British Journal of Hospital Medicine, December 2012, Vol. 73, No. 12

The 2016 revised ACR criteria for Giant cell arteritis can be found here: The 2016 revised ACR criteria for diagnosis of giant cell arteritis – Our case series: Can this avoid unnecessary temporal artery biopsies? – ScienceDirect

temporal artery
Henry Vandyke Carter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

One-half of the patients with Giant cell arteritis (GCA) present the condition of Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and 15 percent of the cases with PMR progress toward GCA. Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory rheumatologic condition that is diagnosed by existence of all below features:

  1. Age at onset ≥ 50 years old
  2. Pain and morning stiffness ≥ 30 minutes involving at least two areas of neck, shoulder girdle and hip girdle for at least two weeks or more
  3. ESR ≥ 40 mm/hour
  4. Dramatic response of symptoms to low-dose corticosteroids


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