This vasculitis is characterized by granulomatous inflammation in the aorta and its branches, leading to vascular insufficiency.
Takayasu arteritis is characterized by vascular insufficiency due to obstruction of the branches of the aorta, including the left common carotid, brachiocephalic and left subclavian. Patients can present with weak or absent pulses in the upper extremities, which is why Takayasu arteritis is commonly referred to as the pulseless disease.
Females are typically eight to nine times more likely to be affected by Takayasu than males. This vasculitis is also common in the Asian population.
Fever is a common finding in the inflammatory stage of disease.
Myalgia, meaning muscle pain, is a common finding in the inflammatory stage of disease.
Night sweats are a common finding in the inflammatory stage of disease.
Inflammation of the joints is a common finding in the inflammatory stage of disease.
One rare but important feature of Takayasu is ocular disturbances, with visual field defects, vision loss, or even retinal hemorrhage.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is the rate at which RBCs sediment in one hour and is a non-specific measure of inflammation. Symptoms of Takayasu arteritis typically begin with an inflammatory phase, and lab findings demonstrate marked elevation of ESR.
Due to obstruction of the branches of the aorta, patients can also present with different blood pressure readings in the two arms.
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