Temporal artery biopsy

Genaral remarks

  • Temporal artery biopsies are mostly performed to diagnose temporal arteritis, also known as giant cell arteritis (GCA)
  • Temporal arteritis is a multisystem vasculitis of elderly people
  • It involves large and medium-sized blood vessels predominantly the craniofacial branches of the carotid arteries, especially the temporal artery
  • Symptoms of temporal arteritis can include visual loss, headaches, fever, audiovestibular symptoms and jaw claudication

Step by step

  1. Position patient in supine position
  2. Identify the frontal branche of the tempral artery
  3. Mark its course (a handheld doppler can be helpful)
  4. Inject local anesthetic
  5. Create anitseptic environment
  6. Incise skin
  7. Dissect towards superficial temporal fascia
  8. Open fascia and expose temporal artery
  9. Ligate side branches
  10. Ligate artery and remove at least 2cm of the vessel
  11. Close the skin

  1. Temporal artery biopsy: concise guidelines for otolaryngologists. Meyers AD, Said S.Laryngoscope. 2004 Nov;114(11):2056-9.