Using temporal artery biopsy to diagnose giant cell arteritis in a patient with bilateral arm ischemia.
INTRODUCTION: Bilateral upper extremity ischemia is an unusual presentation of vascular disease. Aetiologies include atherosclerosis as well as rheumatologic diseases. History and physical examination are often, but not always, enough to distinguish between aetiologies and guide treatment.
PRESENTATION OF CASE: We present the case of a female patient with findings neither typical for atherosclerotic or for rheumatologic disease who was ultimately found to have giant cell arteritis affecting her bilateral upper extremities. She underwent bilateral upper extremity bypasses using saphenous vein grafts.
DISCUSSION: This patient presented without symptoms and laboratory findings often seen with GCA, however, biopsy revealed a definitive diagnosis. Treatment options for ischemia secondary to giant cell arteritis are not well-documented in the literature.
CONCLUSION: Giant cell arteritis can present in atypical forms, and should remain on the differential when atypical-appearing lesions are found, even in the absence of features usually associated with GCA.
Published In/Presented At
Glaser, J., Sharim, R., Birnbaum, B., Montone, K., & Wang, G. (2015). Using temporal artery biopsy to diagnose giant cell arteritis in a patient with bilateral arm ischemia. International journal of surgery case reports, 13, 95–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2015.06.009
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine