Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Temporal Artery Biopsy
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
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 24, 2016
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.