• Neuro-Ophthalmology/Orbit

    This study assessed the diagnostic accuracy of 3D high-resolution T1-weighted black-blood magnetic resonance imaging (T1-BB-MRI) for the detection of posterior ciliary artery involvement in patients with giant cell arteritis and funduscopic arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (A-AION).

    Study design

    This prospective study evaluated 27 patients with suspected giant cell arteritis and vision disturbances.  Giant cell arteritis (GCA) was diagnosed in 18 patients; of those, 14 were positive for A-AION. All patients underwent 3D T1-BB-MRI to detect posterior ciliary artery involvement.

    Outcomes

    The sensitivity of 3D T1-BB-MRI was 92.9% and the specificity was 92.3% for the accurate identification of A-AION-positive patients. Bilateral findings were present in 50% of the cases.

    Limitations

    A limitation of this study is a small sample size. Furthermore, not all patients included in the study had a temporal artery biopsy.

    Clinical significance

    This study demonstrates that 3D T1-BB-MRI allows for the accurate diagnosis of arteritic involvement in the posterior ciliary arteries of patients with GCA and funduscopic A-AION. This MRI technique may enable early diagnosis and treatment of A-AION.