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Temporal artery biopsy: time for a rethink on training?

Osei, Georgia, Rainsbury, Paul, Morris, Daniel Simeon and Haridas, Anjana 2023. Temporal artery biopsy: time for a rethink on training? Eye 37 , pp. 506-510. 10.1038/s41433-022-01963-1

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Background Temporal artery biopsy (TAB) is often performed by ophthalmology trainees without direct supervision. The traditional model of ‘see one, do one, teach one’ still prevails in most units. Whilst it is generally a safe procedure, damage to the temporal branch of the facial nerve has been reported when harvesting the frontal branch of the superficial temporal artery. Methods A survey of trainees from Wessex, Wales, London and Severn deaneries was performed to look at current training techniques, anatomical knowledge and practice. Results 38 trainees responded to the survey, with complete responses from 28 participants. Formal teaching of the anatomical considerations in TAB was not reported by any trainee, with informal teaching being standard practice. Whilst 61% of respondents reported having learnt about the anatomical ‘danger zone’ for facial nerve damage, 97% of trainees chose an incision that fell within this zone when given a choice between potential incision sites. Conclusion TAB remains a largely trainee-taught, trainee-performed procedure. Most trainees are not aware of how to avoid the risk of damage to the temporal branch of the facial nerve. We suggest harvesting the parietal branch of the temporal artery via an incision outside the anatomical ‘danger zone’. In our experience, this is an easily taught technique that minimises the potential risk of damage to the frontal branch of the facial nerve.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0950-222X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2 February 2022
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2024 02:24

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