Acute vision loss and choroidal filling delay in the absence of giant-cell arteritis

Ling Bei, Iris Lee, Michael S. Lee, Greg P. Van Stavern, Collin M. McClelland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Giant-cell arteritis (GCA) is a visually devastating disease that often progresses to severe bilateral vision loss if untreated. Diagnosis of GCA is made challenging by the protean nature of the disease and the lack of a simple test that is both highly sensitive and specific. Choroidal filling delay on fluorescein angiography (FA) has been touted as a highly characteristic feature of GCA-related vision loss, although knowledge of both the sensitivity and specificity of this finding remains unproven. We report our experience of delayed choroidal filling on FA in a series of seven patients referred to an academic neuro-ophthalmology practice due to concern for GCA. Despite the FA findings, our examination, diagnostic testing, and long-term follow-up excluded the diagnosis of GCA in all cases, suggesting that choroidal perfusion abnormalities may occur in the absence of GCA. When evaluating a patient for acute vision loss, the astute clinician must remain cognizant of the limitations of FA in the diagnosis of GCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1578
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Sep 13 2016


  • Delayed choroidal filling
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Giant-cell arteritis


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