Systemic cholesterol microembolization syndrome masquerading as giant cell arteritis

Surv Ophthalmol. 1991 Jul-Aug;36(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/0039-6257(91)90206-u.


Two patients with clinical features consistent with giant cell arteritis were found to have systemic cholesterol microembolization syndromes. Diagnostic confirmation was established by a muscle biopsy in one patient and by a kidney biopsy in the other. Systemic cholesterol embolization can masquerade as a variety of disorders, including vasculitis, and should be considered in a patient with suspected giant cell arteritis who has a negative temporal artery biopsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiography
  • Arteriosclerosis / complications
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Cholesterol*
  • Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Embolism / pathology
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion / diagnosis
  • Syndrome


  • Cholesterol