Influence of corticosteroid treatment on MRI findings in giant cell arteritis

Thorsten A. Bley*, T. Ness, K. Warnatz, A. Frydrychowicz, M. Uhl, J. Hennig, M. Langer, M. Markl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Giant cell arteritis (GCA) remains a diagnostic challenge. With the use of a high-resolution MRI protocol, visualization of the superficial cranial arteries is feasible and mural inflammation can be assessed noninvasively. Until today, it is not known how soon inflammatory signals in diagnostic MR imaging vanish after initiation of treatment. Here, we report sequential MR imaging findings during the initial weeks of corticosteroid treatment in a 79-year-old female patient with histologically proven GCA. Mural inflammatory changes decreased within the first 2 weeks and have almost entirely vanished after 2 1/2 months of continued treatment. Moreover, MR angiography revealed sequential stenoses of the subclavian artery, which improved in variable extent with some residuals despite high dose steroid medication. This report underlines the value of high-resolution MRI in diagnosis and follow-up of GCA and illustrates the potential of MRI to detect and monitor intra- and extra-cranial involvement patterns of GCA in high detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1543
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Arteries
  • Corticosteroids
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • MR angiography
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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