Medical Definition of Takayasu disease

  • 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.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Takayasu disease: A chronic inflammatory disease of the aorta and its branch arteries. The cause is unknown. The disease is most common in young women of Asian descent and usually begins between 10 and 30 years of age. Symptoms include painful, cool, or blanched extremities, dizziness, headaches, chest and abdominal pain, and low-grade fever. The blood pressure is often high. The sedimentation rate (sed rate) may be elevated, reflecting inflammation. The diagnosis is confirmed by an angiogram of the arteries (arteriogram) showing abnormally narrowed and constricted arteries. The disease is treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs when needed. Also known as Takayasu arteritis; Martorell syndrome; pulseless disease; and aortic arch syndrome.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018