Takayasu’s arteritis

Yasushi Kobayashi

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Takayasu’s                 arteritis

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Takayasu’s arteritis is a chronic granulomatous vasculitis of unknown cause characterized by stenosis, occlusion, and aneurysm of large elastic arteries, mainly the aorta and its branches. It mainly affects young women, predominantly in Asian, Middle Eastern, and South American countries.

Clinical presentation—symptoms in the acute stage are nonspecific, such as general fatigue and fever, which can persist for months to years. Symptoms in the chronic stage depend on the anatomical location of the vascular lesions, with typical complaints relating to ischaemia of the brain, eyes, or arms. The commonest finding on physical examination is a weak or absent pulse in one or both brachial, radial, and/or ulnar arteries. Bruits can often be heard over affected arteries. Hypertension and aortic insufficiency are strongly associated with poor prognosis.

Diagnosis—comprehensive angiographic imaging is required for diagnosis, evaluation of the extent of disease, and to guide therapy. American College of Rheumatology diagnostic criteria require the presence of three out of the following six to diagnose Takayasu’s arteritis: (1) age of onset less than 40 years; (2) claudication of a limb; (3) decreased brachial artery pulse; (4) systolic pressure difference between two limbs greater than 10 mmHg; (5) bruit over aorta or subclavian arteries; and (6) angiographic narrowing/occlusion of aorta, its primary branches, or large arteries in proximal arms or legs.

Treatment—is with prednisolone and antiplatelet agents, with other immunosuppressants added if necessary. Surgical bypass graft procedures are often required.

Chapter.  3132 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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