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.

What is the long-term prognosis for patients with Takayasu disease?

The long-term prognosis is not predictable. Some researchers have found that the prognosis is worse when the retinas of the eyes are affected, if the aorta is damaged, or when aneurysms develop. There is also some research that indicates that earlier, aggressive treatment with cortisone and immune-suppression medications may decrease the chances for requiring future surgical procedures for the blood-vessel abnormalities.

The effects of Takayasu arteritis vary greatly from patient to patient. These effects frequently depend on the impaired blood supply to body tissues (such as the brain leading to strokes or spinal cord leading to paralysis).

Can Takayasu disease be prevented?

Because the cause of Takayasu disease is not known, there is no current means of prevention.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease


Klippel, John H., et al., eds. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 13th ed. New York: Springer and Arthritis Foundation, 2008.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2016

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