How is temporal arteritis diagnosed and treated?
Evidence of an elevated sedimentation rate (>60 mm/hr by the Westergreen method) and characteristic findings of arteritis on biopsy of the temporal artery are helpful in making the diagnosis, but biopsy is frequently negative (70% diagnostic after bilateral biopsy).
Treatment of temporal arteritis is with steroids and should not await biopsy (biopsy should be performed within the first few days of therapy).
Treatment should continue at least 2 years with oral steroid therapy.
Treatment effect is usually on the basis of sedimentation rates.