Document Detail

The use of ultrasound as an aid in the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis: a pilot study comparing histological features with ultrasound findings.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12724706     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIMS: We present our preliminary experience with the use of ultrasound in aiding the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). Schmidt et al have previously described a hypoechoic or "halo" effect surrounding the walls of affected arteries on examination with ultrasound. We illustrate these features and explore the attributes and limitations of this technique. METHOD: Two groups of patients were recruited: (1) patients with suspected GCA awaiting temporal artery biopsy and (2) patients with no history or symptoms of GCA of a similar age group. All the recruited patients underwent ultrasound examination of both temporal arteries. The findings on ultrasound were compared with the results of the histological specimens in group 1. For this study, the histological findings alone were used to define if a patient was suffering from GCA. No biopsies were taken in the patients in group 2. RESULTS: Out of 26 patients with suspected GCA, seven patients were found to be positive on biopsy, of which six had been identified on ultrasound. Six patients were found to be false positive on ultrasound, but all had moderate-to-severe features of arteriosclerosis on histology. A total of 13 patients were found to be negative on ultrasound and negative on biopsy for GCA, two of these patients had histological features of arteriosclerosis. In the group with no symptoms of GCA (12 patients), in two patients hypoechoic areas were detected. The results presented give a sensitivity of 86%, specificity of 68%, and positive predictive value of 50% for the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of GCA. CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study indicates that this test may be helpful in those patients with symptoms suggestive of GCA, but currently we cannot recommend any change of present practice.
H Murgatroyd; M Nimmo; A Evans; C MacEwen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Eye (London, England)     Volume:  17     ISSN:  0950-222X     ISO Abbreviation:  Eye (Lond)     Publication Date:  2003 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-05-01     Completed Date:  2003-06-03     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8703986     Medline TA:  Eye (Lond)     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  415-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ophthalmology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Giant Cell Arteritis / pathology,  ultrasonography*
Middle Aged
Pilot Projects
Predictive Value of Tests
Sensitivity and Specificity
Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color

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