Takayasu’s Arteritis Cause Symptoms

Takayasu’s Arteritis is a disease that could cause heart complications, here are the symptoms and causes you should know.
Any type of inflammation can disturb body functions and it can be worse when it happens in the heart. Arteries are responsible to carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. In certain cases, these arteries get damaged and as a result, it affects your heart and the rest of the body. Takayasu’s arteries are actually a rare type of artery inflammation condition that damages the large artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This condition can be life-threatening as it blocks the arteries and weakens walls. Today we will know about the symptoms and causes of this condition.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

What are Takayasu’s arteries?

Takayasu’s arteritis is a rare type of vasculitis, a group of disorders that causes blood vessel inflammation. In Takayasu’s arteritis, the inflammation damages the large artery that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body (aorta) and its main branches.
The disease can lead to narrowed or blocked arteries, or too weakened artery walls that may bulge (aneurysm) and tear. It can also lead to arm or chest pain, high blood pressure, and eventually heart failure or stroke.

Symptoms of Takayasu’s Disease

There are majorly two stages in which the disease can be categorized. Depending on these stages, the severity and symptoms also vary. Here are some signs and symptoms of Takayasu’s disease that you must be aware of.


In the first stage, there are mild symptoms that may be confused with other problems. However, this disease makes you experience more than one symptom at once. But at the same time, it is also possible that you may not experience any symptoms at all at the first stage.

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Muscle pain and pain in joints
  • Fatigue
  • Having mild fever
  • Night sweats and hot flashes


During the second stage of Takayasu’s disease, the inflammation increases and it narrows downs your bloodstream and oxygen. This impacts the functioning of organs and tissues in the body. Signs of this condition in the second stage include-

  • Weakness in your arms and legs
  • Pain in the arms and limbs
  • Weak pulse
  • Difficulty in getting blood pressure
  • The difference in blood pressure in the arms
  • Light headedness
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Headaches or visual changes
  • Having difficulty with memory problems
  • Shortness of breath and chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced quantity of red blood cells

What causes Takyasu’s disease?

There could be some major conditions that may cause this disease to occur. However, it is not usually possible to find out the cause of Takayasu’s disease. In the majority of cases, the aorta and other major arteries present in your body that leads the blood to the head and kidneys become inflamed as a result which becomes problematic. Still, the initial cause of inflammation remains unknown in this disease. It could also be due to autoimmune disease which triggers your immune system and attacks your arteries by mistake.

Complications of Takayasu’s disease

As you must have understood that this is a major disease that could lead to life-threatening complications. Here are some complications of Takayasu’s arteries that you must know.

  • Hardening and narrowing of blood vessels can cause reduced blood flow to organs and tissues.
  • High blood pressure, is usually a result of decreased blood flow to your kidneys.
  • Inflammation of the heart may affect the heart muscle or the heart valves.
  • Heart failure due to high blood pressure, inflammation of the heart, an aortic valve that allows blood to leak back into your heart, or a combination of these.
  • A stroke occurs as a result of reduced or blocked blood flow in arteries leading to your brain.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA), is also called a ministroke. TIA serves as a warning sign because it produces symptoms similar to a stroke but doesn’t cause permanent damage.
  • Aneurysm in the aorta occurs when the walls of the blood vessel weaken and stretch, forming a bulge that has the potential to break.
  • A heart attack may occur as a result of reduced blood flow to the heart.

Diagnosis of Takayasu’s arteritis

  • Blood tests. These tests can be used to look for signs of inflammation. Your doctor may also check for anemia.
  • X-rays of your blood vessels (angiography). During an angiogram, a long, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into a large artery or vein. A special contrast dye is then injected into the catheter, and X-rays are taken as the dye fills your arteries or veins.
  • The resulting images allow your doctor to see if blood is flowing normally or if it’s being slowed or interrupted due to narrowing (stenosis) of a blood vessel. A person with Takayasu’s arteritis generally has several areas of stenosis.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). This less invasive form of angiography produces detailed images of your blood vessels without the use of catheters or X-rays. MRA works by using radio waves in a strong magnetic field to produce data that a computer turns into detailed images of tissue slices. During this test, a contrast dye is injected into a vein or artery to help your doctor better see and examine the blood vessels.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) angiography. This is another non-invasive form of angiography combining computerized analysis of X-ray images with the use of intravenous contrast dye to allow your doctor to check the structure of your aorta and its nearby branches and to monitor blood flow.
  • Ultrasonography. Doppler ultrasound, a more sophisticated version of the common ultrasound, has the ability to produce very high-resolution images of the walls of certain arteries, such as those in the neck and shoulder. It may be able to detect subtle changes in these arteries before other imaging techniques can.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET). This imaging test is often done in combination with computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. PET can measure the intensity of inflammation in blood vessels. Before the scan, a radioactive drug is injected into a vein or an artery to make it easier for your doctor to see areas of decreased blood flow.

Treatment of Takayasu’s arteritis

Treatment of Takayasu’s arteritis focuses on controlling inflammation with medications and preventing further damage to your blood vessels.
Takayasu’s arteritis can be difficult to treat because the disease may remain active even if your symptoms improve. It’s also possible that irreversible damage has already occurred by the time you’re diagnosed.
On the other hand, if you don’t have signs and symptoms or serious complications, you may not need treatment or you may be able to taper and stop treatment if your doctor recommends it.

What Is Medications:

Talk with your doctor about the drug or drug combinations that are options for you and their possible side effects. Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Corticosteroids to control inflammation. The first line of treatment is usually a corticosteroid, such as prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos). Even if you start feeling better, you may need to continue taking the drug long term. After a few months, your doctor may gradually begin to lower the dose until you reach the lowest dose you need to control inflammation. Eventually, your doctor may tell you to stop taking the medication completely.
    Possible side effects of corticosteroids include weight gain, increased risk of infection, and bone thinning. To help prevent bone loss, your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement and vitamin D.
  • Other drugs suppress the immune system. If your condition doesn’t respond well to corticosteroids or you have trouble as your medication dose is lowered, your doctor may prescribe drugs such as methotrexate (Trexall, Xatmep, others), azathioprine (Azasan, and Imuran) and leflunomide (Arava). Some people respond well to medications that were developed for people receiving organ transplants, such as mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept). The most common side effect is an increased risk of infection.
  • Medications to regulate the immune system. If you don’t respond to standard treatments, your doctor may suggest drugs that correct abnormalities in the immune system (biologics), although more research is needed. Examples of biologics include etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), and tocilizumab (Actemra). The most common side effect of these drugs is an increased risk of infection.

What is Surgery:

If your arteries become severely narrowed or blocked, you may need surgery to open or bypass these arteries to allow an uninterrupted flow of blood. Often this helps to improve certain symptoms, such as high blood pressure and chest pain. In some cases, though, the narrowing or blockage may happen again, requiring a second procedure.
Also, if you develop large aneurysms, surgery may be needed to prevent them from rupturing.
Surgical options are best performed when inflammation of the arteries has been reduced. They include:

  • Bypass surgery. In this procedure, an artery or a vein is removed from a different part of your body and attached to the blocked artery, providing a bypass for blood to flow through. Bypass surgery is usually performed when the narrowing of the arteries is irreversible or when there is a significant obstruction to blood flow.
  • Blood vessel widening (percutaneous angioplasty). This procedure may be indicate if the arteries are severely block. During percutaneous angioplasty, a tiny balloon is threaded through a blood vessel and into the affected artery. Once in place, the balloon is expanded to widen the blocked area, then it’s deflated and removed.
  • Aortic valve surgery. Surgical repair or replacement of the aortic valve may be needed if the valve is leaking significantly.

How to prevent:

One of the greatest challenges of living with Takayasu’s arteritis may be coping with side effects of your medication. The following suggestions may help:

  • Understand your condition. Learn everything you can about Takayasu’s arteritis and its treatment. Know the possible side effects of the drugs you take, and tell your doctor about any changes in your health. Ask your doctor about the benefit of taking low-dose aspirin regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems that can result from your condition and medications, such as high blood pressure, thinning bones and diabetes. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish, while limiting salt, sugar and alcohol.
    If you’re taking a corticosteroid drug, ask your doctor if you need to take a vitamin D or calcium supplement.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, can help prevent bone loss, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It also benefits your heart and lungs. In addition, many people find that exercise improves their mood and overall sense of well-being.
  • Avoid all tobacco products. It’s important to stop using all forms of tobacco to reduce the risk of injuring your blood vessels and tissues even more.
  • Stay up-to-date on vaccines. Your medications may make it harder for your body to fight infection. Talk to your doctor about getting vaccine against the flu, pneumonia, shingles, and other diseases.

Read more…