Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 821–823 | Cite as

Horton’s disease: historical highlights

  • Andrea Alberto ContiEmail author

The reconstruction of the history of medicine and diseases is a fascinating and challenging task. In the remote past, precise biomedical writings were not available, and therefore, non-medical sources can and should be taken into consideration so as to identify the first (possible) descriptions of pathologies that are still present today [1].

Giant cell arteritis, or temporal arteritis, or Horton’s disease takes its name from Bayard Taylor Horton (1895–1980), but already in the fourteenth century B.C., in Egypt, in the tomb of Pa-Eton-Em-Eb, a blind harpist had been depicted with swollen eyelids and a dark line in the cranial temporal zone. Domingo Campillo in the course of the nineteenth century reported his observations regarding a number of Egyptian mummies that in his opinion, showed signs of arterial calcification and temporal arteritis, including that of pharaoh Ramses. In the tenth century A.D., Ali Ibn Isa al-Kahhal (940–1010) described a link among headache, visual disorders...



The author would like to thank Professor Luisa Camaiora, B.A., M.Phil. for her correction of the English.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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© SIMI 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e ClinicaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly

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