Imaging of giant cell arteritis - recent advances

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2023 Mar;37(1):101827. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2023.101827. Epub 2023 Jun 3.


Imaging is increasingly being used to guide clinical decision-making in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA). While ultrasound has been rapidly adopted in fast-track clinics worldwide as an alternative to temporal artery biopsy for the diagnosis of cranial disease, whole-body PET/CT is emerging as a potential gold standard test for establishing large vessel involvement. However, many unanswered questions remain about the optimal approach to imaging in GCA. For example, it is uncertain how best to monitor disease activity, given there is frequent discordance between imaging findings and conventional disease activity measures, and imaging changes typically fail to resolve completely with treatment. This chapter addresses the current body of evidence for the use of imaging modalities in GCA across the spectrum of diagnosis, monitoring disease activity, and long-term surveillance for structural changes of aortic dilatation and aneurysm formation and provides suggestions for future research directions.

Keywords: Angiography; Computed tomography; Diagnosis; Giant cell arteritis; Imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging; Monitoring; Positron emission tomography; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Giant Cell Arteritis* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Temporal Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Arteries / pathology
  • Ultrasonography