Giant cell arteritis: PET may become first-line test

Australian study 'demonstrates diagnostic accuracy'

Many patients might be spared temporal artery biopsy for giant cell arteritis (GCA) by using a PET scan to diagnose the disease instead, Australian researchers suggest.

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The invasive artery biopsy has been used for decades to diagnose GCA, but has drawbacks, said lead author Dr Anthony Sammel at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, US.

“If it comes back negative, it doesn’t conclusively exclude the condition and two out of 10 GCA patients have a negative biopsy,” said Dr Sammel, a staff specialist