Takayasu Disease (Takayasu Arteritis)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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Takayasu disease facts

  • Takayasu disease is a chronic inflammation of the large blood vessels that distributes blood from the heart.
  • The cause of Takayasu disease is unknown.
  • Symptoms of Takayasu disease include painful, cool, or blanched extremities, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, and abdominal pain.
  • The diagnosis of Takayasu disease involves detecting abnormal narrowing of the characteristic blood vessels.
  • The treatment of Takayasu disease involves suppressing the inflammation in the blood vessels. Surgical procedures can be required.

What is Takayasu disease?

Takayasu disease is a chronic inflammation of the large blood vessels that distribute blood from the heart, including the aorta and its main branches. Inflammation of blood vessels is also called vasculitis. It is most common in women of Asian descent. It usually begins between 10 and 30 years of age.

Takayasu disease has also been referred to as pulseless disease, aortic arch syndrome, Takayasu's disease, and Takayasu's arteritis.

What causes Takayasu disease?

The cause of Takayasu disease is unknown. The immune system in patients with Takayasu disease seems to be misdirected to cause inflammation of arteries (arteritis). White blood cells called T lymphocytes are part of the inflammation.

What are symptoms of Takayasu disease?

The inflammation of the aorta and its branch arteries can lead to poor blood supply to tissues of the body in patients with Takayasu disease. This can cause painful, cool, or blanched extremities, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, and low-grade fever.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2016
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