Advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis


Ing E, Pagnoux C, Torun N. Advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2019;30(6):407-411.

Date Published:

2019 Nov


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent advances in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). RECENT FINDINGS: Less common manifestations of GCA include corneal edema, proptosis from lacrimal gland ischemia and sensorineuronal hearing loss. Histology studies have suggested that temporal artery biopsies (TAB) with fixed specimen lengths of 15 mm may be adequate to prevent false negative biopsies. In centers with appropriate radiologic expertise, a European rheumatology consensus guideline has proposed Doppler ultrasound as a first-line confirmatory test for GCA in lieu of temporal artery biopsy. Finding extracranial large vessel disease can help to diagnose GCA. Statistical prediction rules can help risk stratify patients with suspected GCA. Age and platelet level when maintained as continuous variables are the strongest predictors for GCA. SUMMARY: GCA can present with diverse ophthalmic and systemic presentations and expedient recognition of same can avoid diagnostic delay and possible vision loss, among other complications. TAB remains the conventional diagnostic standard test for GCA. The use of statistical prediction models and increased expertise in noninvasive imaging techniques such as ultrasound may decrease reliance on TAB, especially in patients determined to be at low risk for GCA.

Last updated on 12/02/2019