Takayasu arteritis - epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment
Journal of Applied Biomedicine
Takayasu disease belongs to the group of autoimmune vasculitis which most often affects the aorta and its branches. It is rare, and it mainly affects young women. Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that Takayasu arteritis is being increasingly recognized in Europe. The first symptoms are non-specific and an early diagnosis is difficult and requires clinical awareness and suspicion. Patients with Takayasu arteritis often present increased inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein and
... rythrocyte sedimentation rate, but systemic inflammatory response does not always show a positive correlation with inflammatory activity in the vessel wall. Therefore, imaging studies play a principal role in diagnosis and control of the disease. Glucocorticoids remain the most effective and serve as a cornerstone first line treatment. Immunosuppressive drugs play an important role as well, and biological therapy is increasingly being included in the treatment. This article describes the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnostics and treatment of this rare disease, so as to alert clinicians because disease left untreated can lead to narrowing and even closure of vital blood vessels. The most common Takayasu arteritis complications include pulmonary thrombosis, aortic regurgitation, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular events, vision degeneration or blindness, and hearing problems.