June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Giant cell arteritis: Correlation between MRI findings and immunohistology
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Thomas Ness
    Eye Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • Olga Richter
    Eye Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • Julia Geiger
    Department of Radiology, University Childrens’ Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Thorsten Bley
    Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
  • Sonja Heinzelmann
    Eye Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Thomas Ness, Abbvie (R), Allergan (R), Bayer (R), Novartis (R), Santen (F); Olga Richter, None; Julia Geiger, None; Thorsten Bley, Bracco (F), Medac (F), Siemens (R); Sonja Heinzelmann, Abbvie (F), Santen (F)
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 4844. doi:
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      Thomas Ness, Olga Richter, Julia Geiger, Thorsten Bley, Sonja Heinzelmann; Giant cell arteritis: Correlation between MRI findings and immunohistology
      . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):4844.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To find the source of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal in giant cell arteritis (GCA) we correlated MRI findings with histology and immunohistology in temporal artery biopsy (TAB).

Methods : We analysed the clinical and MRI data of 106 patients who underwent TAB in the Eye Center, University of Freiburg between 2004 and 2010. MRI findings were classified. In addition to the morphologic histologic diagnosis, we performed immunohistology (CD3 and CD68) and correlated the results with MRI findings. TAB was conducted within 7 days following MRI. Statistical analysis was performed using a multivariate model (ROC analysis).

Results : Positive histology was observed in 50 patients, while 56 were negative. Histologic results correlated with ACR criteria. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CRP and fibrinogen were higher in the group with positive histology. Detection of inflammation in MRI and positive TAB were statistically significantly correlated (p<0.001). ROC curve showed high specificity and sensitivity (AUC = 0.83, p<0.001).
Comparing MRI signal with immunohistology showed that infiltration of CD3 positive cells in the adventitia (p<0.001) and CD68 positive cells in the intima (p<0.01) was sufficient to evoke a signal in MRI. The more histologic infiltration of the vessel, the more the MRI signal increased.

Conclusions : Detection of GCA in MRI and histology correlated statistically significant. Early MRI signal seemed to be generated by infiltration of CD3 cells in the adventitia and CD68 cells in the intima of the temporal artery.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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