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VA Diaz, BM DeBroff, J Sinard; Correlation of Pathologic Temporal Artery Biopsy Specimens with Clinical Severity and Contralateral Biopsies in Giant Cell Arteritis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):347.
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Purpose: To correlate temporal artery biopsy specimens with actual progression of giant cell arteritis and to compare progression of disease of the biopsy specimen from one side with the contra-lateral side in bilateral biopsy specimens. Methods: All patients who had temporal artery biopsies at the Yale New Haven Hospital over the past ten years were included in the study (416 patients). Of that total, 67 were found to have results positive for giant cell arteritis. Part 1 of the study involved comparing progression of giant cell arteritis from the specimen of one artery with that obtained from the contra-lateral side of the same patient. Thus in this part, only patients whom had bilateral biopsies were studied (10 patients), including simultaneous bilateral biopsies (9) and sequential bilateral biopsies (1). A scoring system based on published criteria was used to quantify the degree of involvement of biopsy results, and thus compare progression of disease from one side as compared with the contra-lateral side. Part 2 involved correlating the pathologic progression of GCA based on the biopsy score with severity of clinical symptoms, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and age. Results: There was no significant difference in the average pathologic scores from one side to the contra-lateral side in bilateral biopsies (p=0.61). The pathological biopsy score correlated significantly with the severity of symptoms (p=0.04) but did not correlate significantly with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p=0.19) or age (p=0.89). Conclusions: Giant cell arteritis is a serious disease that can have profound visual consequences. Often unilateral, sequential bilateral or even simultaneous bilateral biopsies are performed to diagnose the condition. This study demonstrates that the pathologic scoring of the disease did not correlate with ESR or age but did correlate significantly with patient symptoms.
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