Doppler ultrasound may be useful for patients with suspected GCA

December 7, 2010

A study has found that doppler ultrasound may be useful in monitoring and diagnosis of patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA).

A study has found that doppler ultrasound may be useful in monitoring and diagnosis of patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA). The results are to be published in an issue of Clinical Ophthalmology.

Led by Dr Ana M. Suelves from La Fe University Hospital, Valencia, Spain, the researchers evaluated how useful ultrasound is in the diagnosis of GCA, in monitoring the response to corticotherapy and in detecting early relapses.

The study comprised 10 patients with suspected GCA who all underwent ultrasound examination of both temporal arteries before temporal artery biopsy (TAB), 3 weeks after starting treatment and 3 months after diagnosis. For the purposes of this study only histological findings were considered in defining whether the patients were suffering from GCA. All ultrasound results were compared with those from the biopsy and the best position to perform the biopsy was determined using ultrasound.

Using ultrasound, no false positive results were obtained and the results presented gave a sensibility, specificity and positive predictive value of 100% for the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of GCA. Additionally, the researchers were able to detect two relapses early using ultrasound during the follow up period.

From the results it was concluded that the eco-doppler may be a useful tool in the diagnosis and clinical follow up of patients with suspected GCA.