5 years ago

The role of colour doppler ultrasonography of facial and occipital arteries in patients with giant cell arteritis: A prospective study

Colour Doppler Sonography (CDS) in giant cell arteritis (GCA) allows the study of involvement of cranial arteries other than the temporal arteries, which are inconvenient to biopsy, such as the facial (FaA), and occipital (OcA) arteries. We aimed to estimate the frequency of the FaA, and OcA involvement in GCA; and to explore the clinical characteristics of these subgroups of patients. Methods From 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2016 we prospectively performed a CDS of the FaA, and OcA in addition to the temporal (TA), and the extracranial supra-aortic arteries in all newly diagnosed patients suspected of having GCA. All the arteries were evaluated in two planes for the highly specific halo sign. Results During the 36-month observation period we performed a CDS of the cranial and extra-cranial arteries in 93 GCA patients. We observed the halo sign on the FaA, and OcA in 38 (40.9%), and 29 (31.2%) cases, respectively. The FaA, or OcA were affected in 4/22 (18.2%) patients with a negative TA CDS. FaA involvement significantly correlated with jaw claudication and with severe visual manifestations, including permanent visual loss. Conclusions A fifth of patients with a negative CDS of the TAs had signs of vasculitis on the CDS of the FaA, or OcA. The addition of FaA and OcA CDS to the routine CDS of the TAs could identify 4.3% more patients and thus further improve the sensitivity of the CDS in the suspected GCA.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0720048X17302917

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