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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Ophthalmology 1/2018

Giant cell arteritis presenting as bilateral anterior ischemic optic neuropathy: a biopsy-proven case report in Chinese patient

BMC Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Guohong Tian, Weimin Chen, Qian Chen, Min Wang, Guixian Zhao, Zhenxin Li, Jiong Zhang



Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a systemic vasculitis of medium and large-size vessels and can led to permanent visual loss in elderly patients. GCA is very rare among Asians. We report a Chinese patient presenting with acute bilateral anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, and the temporal artery biopsy proved the diagnose of GCA.

Case presentation

A 77-year-old Chinese man presented with sudden bilateral blindness for 5 days with a severe headache. Funduscopic examination revealed bilateral optic disc swollen with “chalky white” pallid appearance. The blood tests showed the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) elevated dramatically. The color duplex ultrasonography (CDUS) of the superficial temporal artery revealed the inflammation of the vessel wall as a “halo sign”. The temporal artery biopsy was perfumed and the pathology revealed luminal occlusion with multinuclear giant cell infiltration. The patient was treated with intravenous methylprednisolone for 3 days and oral prednisone weaning for 12 months. The visual acuity remained no light perception at one year follow-up.


Although very rare in Asian, GCA can led to permanent blindness in elderly Chinese caused by anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. The noninvasive CDUS might be a promising technique for diagnose GCA in highly suspected patients.
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