Table 4

Main characteristics of diagnostic studies on MRI in cranial giant cell arteritis (GCA) and Takayasu arteritis (TAK)

Study IDnn female (%)Inclusion criteriaReference standardn Final diagn GCA/TAK(%)n TAB+
n LV-GCAInvestigated structuresElementary lesionsRoB
 Bley et al 33 2111 (52)Headache, jaw claudication, TA tenderness/induration/pulse decrement, visual impairmentACR criteria or
9 (43)5 (56)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score1–4 Low
 Bley et al 34 6431 (48)Headache, TA tenderness, visual impairment, increased APRClinical diagn 6 m or
31 (48)21 (78)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score (0–3)Low
 Geiger et al 35 4330 (70)Suspected GCA* ACR criteria or
28 (65)11 (73)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score (0–3)High
 Veldhoen et al 36 9968 (69)Suspected GCA, TAB, MRI deep TA, temporal muscleTAB61 (62)61 (100)NRDeep TA, temporal muscleWall thickening+contrast enhancement
(artery wall/temporal muscle)
 Franke et al 37 5534 (62)Suspected GCA* TAB14 (25)14 (100)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score (0–3)Mod
 Klink et al 38 185125 (68)Headache, TA tenderness/pulse, APR
+MRI and FU available
Clinical diagn 6 m or
102 (55)62 (63)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score (0–3)High
 Siemonsen et al 39 2521 (84)Suspected GCAACR criteria or
20 (80)9 (90)NRTA, occipital, intracranialTA, occipital
[wall thickening+contrast enhancement, score (0–3)]
intracranial (enhancement)
 Rhéaume et al 40 171126 (74)Suspected GCA+TABACR criteria (retrospectively confirmed) or
TAB or clinical diagn FU (NR)
137 (80)31 (23)NRTA, occipitalWall thickening+contrast enhancement score (0–3)Mod
 Yamada et al 55 3027 (90)Suspected TAKConventional angiography20 (67)NAAorta, brachiocephalic trunk, subclavian, carotid, vertebralLuminal changes (stenosis, occlusion, dilatation, aneurysms)Low
  • *Suspected GCA according to the ACR criteria, no further details described.

  • ACR, American College of Rheumatology; APR, acute phase reactants; diagn, diagnosis; FU, follow-up; GCA, giant cell arteritis; LV, large vessel; m, months; mod, moderate; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; n, number of finally included patients in analysis; NA, not applicable; n female, number of females; n final diagn GCA, number of patients finally diagnosed with GCA; NR, not reported; n LV-GCA, number of GCA patients with large vessel involvement; n TAB+, number of positive temporal artery biopsy results in finally diagnosed GCA patients; RoB, overall appraisal of risk of bias and concerns about applicability (arbitrarily defined) (high, in the case of concern on ≥5/10 risk of bias items or concern on 3/3 applicability items out of the QUADAS-2 tool; moderate, in case of concern on 4/10 risk of bias items and/or concern on ≥1/3 applicability items out of the QUADAS-2 tool; low, in case of concern on ≤3/3 RoB and no concern about applicability); Pat, finally included number of patients in analysis; TA, temporal artery/arteries; TAB+, patients with a positive histology suggesting vasculitis.