Temporal artery biopsy: A technical guide and review of its importance and indications

Simon Parreau, Eric Liozon, John J. Chen, Muhammad F. Curumthaullee, Anne Laure Fauchais, Kenneth J. Warrington, Kim Heang Ly, Cornelia M. Weyand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Temporal artery biopsy (TAB) is a surgical procedure that enables the histological diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA). Performing a TAB requires expertise and a precise approach. Nevertheless, available data supports the value of tissue diagnosis in managing GCA. The current therapeutic recommendation for GCA is long-term glucocorticoid therapy, with an increasing emphasis on the addition of immunosuppressants/biotherapies. Though effective, immunosuppressants and other such biotherapies may put the patient at more risk. Optimizing the diagnosis through tissue evaluation is therefore important in weighing the risks and benefits of initiating therapeutic intervention. We evaluate the evidence supporting the importance of TAB and its indications. We also describe what technical approaches should be used to maximize sensitivity and to avoid possible complications during the procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalSurvey of ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Histology
  • Surgery
  • Temporal artery biopsy
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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