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If you have symptoms of
giant cell arteritis (GCA) and your doctor believes
you may have it, he or she may order a temporal artery biopsy to make
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
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
April 13, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
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North Kansas City Hospital.