Diseases & Treatments

Using Ultrasound to Diagnose and Manage Temporal Arteritis

Every day at our ultrasound diagnostic center in Voorhees, NJ, we utilize emerging technology to provide fast and accurate diagnoses for patients with rheumatic autoimmune diseases. Conditions that once were diagnosed primarily through surgical procedures now can be observed and identified with non-invasive ultrasonic imaging, in a shorter amount of time.

One such condition is temporal arteritis.

An estimated 228,000 Americans suffer from temporal arteritis,(1) a form of vasculitis that restricts the flow of blood through temporal arteries to the head and brain. It is possible to manage temporal arteritis, but the condition can lead to serious complications such as aneurysms, stroke, or blindness. Therefore, it’s crucial for patients to receive a reliable diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. 

For more pertinent details about temporal arteritis, take a look at this infographic:

Because it manifests itself in many different symptoms, diagnosing temporal arteritis is not always an easy task.(2) Typically, patients reporting symptoms of temporal arteritis will undergo a series of blood tests, as well as a biopsy on the affected artery. This requires the surgical extraction of cells or tissue, and results can be misleading.(3) 

Ultrasound is now recognized as a viable, highly effective diagnostic alternative. With ultrasound, we can see inside the temporal and axillary arteries and get a clear, high-resolution picture of the artery walls to assess any inflammation or damage. We can also observe blood flow patterns and determine if there is significant restriction. We can do all this without breaking the skin or administering anesthesia, and we can do it in a short amount of time. What’s more: The results are reliable.(4)

As we mentioned earlier, receiving a quick and accurate diagnosis of temporal arteritis is crucial, particularly in patients who have experienced vision loss. The sooner our rheumatic disease specialists begin treating vasculitis in any form, the better the patient’s chances of managing, slowing, or preventing adverse side effects.

Ultrasound technology continues to evolve, and with it, our ability to serve patients expands and improves. For more information about how we use ultrasound to diagnose temporal arteritis or to inquire about vasculitis treatment options in Galloway, NJ, please contact ARBDA today.

Sources:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5443721/ (1)

https://www.hopkinsvasculitis.org/types-vasculitis/giant-cell-arteritis/ (2)

 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409876/ (3)

https://www.healthline.com/health/temporal-arteritis#symptoms (For Infographic)

https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/57/suppl_2/ii22/4898141(4)

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