Takayasu’s arteritis is an inflammation of the aorta (blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the other organs) and its main branches. This condition is type of vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels).

The inflammation of the aorta implies that the aorta or its main branches may be narrowed, blocked or dilated. All of these possibilities cause pain in the arms, chest, or heart failure and stroke.



The symptoms of Takayasu’s arteritis in its early stage are:

  • feeling unwell
  • fatigue
  • pain in the muscles and joints
  • slight fever


Those symptoms may not necessarily be felt in the early stage of the condition, especially because it can take years for the disease to develop and more severe symptoms to be felt, when the inflammation causes narrowing of the arteries. Those are:

  • dizziness, fainting
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • night sweats
  • vision changes
  • weight loss
  • anemia
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain



The cause of Takayasu’s arteritis is not known. There are considerations that this condition is an autoimmune disease, where the inherent immune system attacks its own arteries. It is also suggested that this disease is triggered by a virus or other infection.


Risk factors

The risk factors of Takayasu’s arteritis are:

  • gender – the condition affects mostly young girls and women between 20 and 30s
  • ethnicity – more common in Asian women



The complications from Takayasu’s arteritis can be serious because the inflammation of the aorta and its main branches can cause narrowed, blocked or dilated blood vessels, which are responsible for carrying blood to the rest of the body. In these terms, these organs may receive insufficient blood for normal functioning. The complications include:

  • high blood pressure
  • myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
  • valvulitis (inflammation of the heart valves)
  • pericarditis (inflammation of the heart sac
  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • aneurysm in the aorta
  • transient ischemic attack
  • ischemic stroke
  • diseased pulmonary arteries
  • possible pregnancy problems