Temporal Artery Biopsies
Biopsies are occasionally taken of the temporal artery in cases for which temporal arteritis is suspected. These biopsies need to be carefully and thoroughly examined, at multiple levels, for focal disease. The average biopsy is about 12 mm long. Cut it into four pieces, each about 3 mm long, and have the laboratory embed each piece on end. We like to get four sets of step sections through the block, each set containing three hematoxylin and eosin stained sections, one elastin stained section (Verhoeff’s/van Gieson’s), and one unstained section. Thus, one temporal artery biopsy pro-duces at least 16 slides to examine.