Giant cell arteritis can occur at various points along an artery. 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 inflammation.
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 (false-negative).
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
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