Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)
Bookmark and Share

Related Information

Search Health Information   
 

Takayasu arteritis

Definition

Takayasu arteritis is an inflammation of the aorta -- the artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body -- and its major branches.

See also: Aortic arch syndrome

Alternative Names

Pulseless disease

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause of Takayasu arteritis is unknown. The disease occurs mainly in children and women younger than 30, especially those who are of Asian or African descent.

It appears to be an autoimmune condition, where immune cells are wrongly targeted against the body's own tissues, and it may involve other systems.

Symptoms

  • Arm weakness or pain with use
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Skin rash
  • Night sweats
  • Vision changes
  • Weight loss

Signs and tests

  • Decreased radial pulses (at the wrist)
  • Difference in blood pressure between the two arms
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

There may also be signs of inflammation (pericarditis or pleuritis).

Tests:

Treatment

Treatment of Takayasu arteritis is difficult, but patients who do have the right treatment can see positive results. Early detection is important.

Most patients are treated with steroids and immunosuppressive drugs. Surgery is reserved for complications caused by narrowed arteries.

Surgery to bypass narrowed arteries -- angioplasty or stent placement -- may be needed to supply blood or open up the constriction.

Expectations (prognosis)

This disease can be fatal. However, with a combination of aggressive medical and surgical treatment, death rates have dropped dramatically.

In well managed cases of Takayasu arteritis, the long-term survival rate is greater than 90%. The survival rate is better for adults than for children.

Complications

  • Blood clot
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Pericarditis
  • Pleuritis
  • Stroke

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition. Weak pulse, chest pain, and breathing difficulty require immediate care.

References

Maksimowicz-McKinnon K, Hoffman GS. Takayasu arteritis: what is the long-term prognosis? Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2007;33:777-786.

Review Date: 2/2/2012
Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
 

Medical Care

Cancer
Pregnancy & Prenatal Classes
Weight Loss
Orthopedics
Heart Disease
Neurology
Women's Health
More Medical Care

Locations

Hospitals
Immediate Care
Health Centers
Emergency Room
Doctors Offices
Specialists
Affiliate Hospitals

Patients and Visitors

MyChart
Pay Your Bill
Request an Appointment
Get Healthy
Support Groups
Fitness Groups
Mobile Applications
Clinical Trials
Online Nursery
Classes and Events
Send an eCard
Patient Stories
Places to Stay

About Us

Quality Report 
Careers
Ways to Help
Community Outreach
Contact Us
(502) 629-1234

Connect with us

© 2014 Norton Healthcare
Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana