Takayasu's arteritis pathophysiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Farnaz Khalighinejad, MD [2]


The pathogenesis of Takayasu's arteritis is poorly understood. Takayasu's arteritis characterized by segmental and patchy granulomatous inflammation of the aorta and its major derivative branches.This inflammation leads to arterial stenosisthrombosis, and aneurysms. Three factors that have been suggested to have association with susceptibility, development and progression of Takayasu's arteritis are genetic influences, immunologic mechanisms, and relationship to tuberculosis. The most important conditions associated with Takayasu's arteritis include ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Behçet's syndrome. On gross pathology, stiff and rigid aorta on palpation, gelatinous appearance of thickened adventitia, and sharp line of demarcation between normal and diseased segments might be seen. On microscopic histopathological analysis characteristic findings of Takayasu's arteritis include inflammation around the vasa vasorum and at the medio-adventitial junction, edema of the media and adventitia, giant cell granulomatous reaction, laminar necrosis, and fragmentation of elastic fibers.


Relationship to tuberculosis (TB)

  • It has been suggested that Takayasu arteritis is associated with TB. Following evidences support this hypothesis:[2]

Genetic influences

  • Geographic distribution of Takayasu arteritis, with high prevalence in Japan and Korea, suggests that genetic factors are probably play a role in the pathogenesis of Takayasu arteritis.

Immunologic mechanisms

Because of rheumatic-type complaints in many Takayasu arteritis patients, the relationship between Takayasu arteritis and autoimmune and collagen vascular disorders has been suggested.


Gross pathology

On gross pathology characteristic findings of Takayasu's arteritis are as follows:[5]

Microscopic pathology

On microscopic histopathological analysis characteristic findings of Takayasu's arteritis are as follows:[5]

H & E microscopy of a vessel showing vasculitis (inflammatory cells within the vessel wall), source:https://librepathology.org/wiki/Vasculitides#Takayasu_arteritis


  1. Inder SJ, Bobryshev YV, Cherian SM, Wang AY, Lord RS, Masuda K, Yutani C (March 2000). "Immunophenotypic analysis of the aortic wall in Takayasu's arteritis: involvement of lymphocytes, dendritic cells and granulocytes in immuno-inflammatory reactions". Cardiovasc Surg. 8 (2): 141–8. PMID 10737351.
  2. Lupi-Herrera E, Sánchez-Torres G, Marcushamer J, Mispireta J, Horwitz S, Vela JE (January 1977). "Takayasu's arteritis. Clinical study of 107 cases". Am. Heart J. 93 (1): 94–103. PMID 12655.
  3. Salazar M, Varela A, Ramirez LA, Uribe O, Vasquez G, Egea E, Yunis EJ, Iglesias-Gamarra A (August 2000). "Association of HLA-DRB1*1602 and DRB1*1001 with Takayasu arteritis in Colombian mestizos as markers of Amerindian ancestry". Int. J. Cardiol. 75 Suppl 1: S113–6. PMID 10980348.
  4. Seko Y, Takahashi N, Tada Y, Yagita H, Okumura K, Nagai R (August 2000). "Restricted usage of T-cell receptor Vgamma-Vdelta genes and expression of costimulatory molecules in Takayasu's arteritis". Int. J. Cardiol. 75 Suppl 1: S77–83, discussion S85–7. PMID 10980341.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gravanis MB (August 2000). "Giant cell arteritis and Takayasu aortitis: morphologic, pathogenetic and etiologic factors". Int. J. Cardiol. 75 Suppl 1: S21–33, discussion S35–6. PMID 10980333.

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