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August 1986

Brow Droop After Superficial Temporal Artery Biopsy

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(8):1127. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050200033026

To the Editor.  —Biopsy of the superficial temporal artery remains the sole means by which to confirm the diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. Direct complications of biopsy are rarely reported, even though larger arterial segments are now sampled in order to improve the yield of histologic confirmation. In 1971, Fisher1 described a case of ipsilateral cerebrovascular infarction after superficial temporal artery biopsy in a patient with ipsilateral carotid occlusion. In another case, chronic skin ulceration2 in the temporal area occurred several months after biopsy in a patient without signs of arteritis.

Report of a Case.  —A 55-year-old diabetic woman developed bilateral concomitant ischemic optic neuropathy with an elevated sedimentation rate. A 3-cm segment of the horizontal section of the right superficial temporal artery in the temporal fossa was attained after infiltration of the subcutaneous tissue with 2% lidocaine (Xylocaine). Due to a poorly palpable pulse overlying the

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