BMJ Publishing Group, RMD Open, 3(7), p. e001688, 2021
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ObjectiveTo determine the association of arteriosclerosis, characterised by hyperechogenic intimal lesions (HIL), with wall thickness of the temporal and facial arteries in elderly patients with ocular arterial occlusions.MethodsPatients suffering from non-arteritic ocular perfusion disorders were included. High-resolution compression sonography (18 MHz) images of the temporal arteries (frontal and parietal branch at the upper margin of the auricle) and facial arteries (at the crossing point of the artery over the mandible) were analysed for the presence of HIL (grade 0: absent; grade 1: moderate; grade 2: severe). Characteristics of patients with and without evidence of HIL >grade 1 were compared.ResultsIn total, 330 cranial artery segments of 55 patients were analysed. HIL ≥grade 1 was present in 13.0% of all artery segments and in 38.1% of all patients. Patients with HIL ≥grade 1 in at least one arterial segment displayed significantly increased maximum wall thickness of the temporal arteries (0.62±0.23 mm vs 0.50±0.13 mm; p<0.01) and facial arteries (0.71±0.20 mm vs 0.54±0.19 mm; p=0.01). Patients with at least one temporal or facial artery segment with HIL were older, more often male and more frequently suffered from diabetes mellitus.ConclusionThe presence of HIL goes along with a significantly increased wall thickness of the temporal and facial arteries. These findings should be considered when interpreting the results of sonography of the cranial arteries in the diagnostic workup of suspected giant cell arteritis.