Temporal Artery Biopsy
If you have symptoms of Reference giant cell arteritis Opens New Window (GCA) and your doctor believes you may have it, he or she may order a temporal artery Reference biopsy Opens New Window to make sure.
Giant cell arteritis can occur at various points along an Reference artery Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. To test for giant cell arteritis, your doctor may have a surgeon take a sample of a blood vessel on your temple and test it for Reference inflammation Opens New Window.
If a temporal artery biopsy shows no signs of inflammation but your symptoms strongly suggest giant cell arteritis, you and your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of treatment and of no treatment. You and your doctor will decide whether or not you will proceed with treatment.
If you are taking high-dose corticosteroids, the biopsy result may not be accurate. In this case, any biopsy testing must be performed as soon as possible, preferably within 2 to 5 days. Biopsies done more than about a week after the start of high-dose corticosteroids may be falsely normal (Reference false-negative Opens New Window).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 13, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology