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Effect of prior steroid treatment on temporal artery biopsy findings in giant cell arteritis
  1. N Ray-Chaudhuri1,
  2. D Ah Kiné1,
  3. S O Tijani2,
  4. D V Parums3,
  5. N Cartlidge4,
  6. N P Strong1,
  7. M R Dayan1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Papworth Hospital, Cambridge
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne
  1. Correspondence: Mrs Neeta Ray-Chaudhuri, Department of Ophthalmology, Claremont Wing, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK


Aim: To examine the effect of up to 6 weeks of corticosteroid treatment on the positive temporal artery biopsy rate in giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Methods: Prospective comparative clinical study of 11 patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology criteria for diagnosis of GCA. Patients underwent temporal artery biopsy within 1 week, at 2–3 weeks, or after 4 weeks of corticosteroid treatment.

Results: Overall, nine of 11 (82%) patients had positive temporal artery biopsies. Six of seven (86%) biopsies performed after 4 or more weeks of steroid treatment were positive.

Conclusion: Temporal artery biopsy is useful several weeks after institution of steroids.

  • steroid treatment
  • temporal artery biopsy
  • giant cell arteritis

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