Takayasu’s arteritis is an inflammatory pathology that mainly affects the aorta, branches, and various pulmonary arteries. When this alteration was known, it was thought that only women could suffer it, but currently, it is affirmed that both sexes can suffer from it, although it is predominant in women and young people. However, it is scarce since an approximate incidence of between 1.2 and 2.6 cases per year per million inhabitants is estimated.
Takayasu arteritis is considered a type of vasculitis, which means that it is a pathology of autoimmune origin, in which there is no type of preventive measure to prevent it. When faced with any doubt or symptom, it is best to consult a rheumatologist.
If you want to know more about this alteration and ask yourself, is Takayasu’s arteritis hereditary ?, In the following FastlyHealarticle, you will find several answers.
Table of Contents
Why does Takayasu arteritis occur?
In the body’s defense mechanism, the immune system, there are B lymphocytes that become the cells responsible for providing antibodies to the body, known as plasma cells. They are essential to detect external agents, identify threats and attack them, as happens with viruses and bacteria in normal conditions of the immune system. However, when there is an alteration in the immune system’s ability to differentiate its own and foreign components, plasma cells can create antibodies against the same organism causing various alterations depending on the tissue, protein, or enclosure that they attack, which is known as autoimmune disease.
Blood vessels can also be victims of this disorder, so when the immune system attacks them and forms antibodies to attack structures such as veins and arteries, it is called vasculitis. There is necrosis or cell death and inflammation in the muscle wall, putting blood flow at risk in these cases.
Takayasu’s arteritis, also called pulseless disease, appears progressively in the patient, beginning with a slight inflammation of the various layers of the aorta that increases over time until the walls of the aorta become fibrous. And stiffer until clogged.
Although some patients with this disorder are asymptomatic, there are specific general symptoms that can be confused with other alterations, such as hereditary non-inflammatory conditions of the connective tissue. As Takayasu’s arteritis is not caused by heredity or a specific cause is known, it is essential to have regular medical checks to detect it early.
Takayasu arteritis: symptoms
People with Takayasu’s arteritis and symptoms generally have a two-phase clinical picture :
- In the first, the patient develops general symptomatology in which there is weight loss, chronic fatigue, and lack of appetite. However, muscle discomfort and, very occasionally, low fever may also appear.
- During the second phase, the symptoms caused by arterial occlusion become noticeable, for example, lack of pulse in the lower and upper extremities or the appearance of murmurs in the arteries caused by the bloodstream that must circulate through a much smaller glass.
As time passes and the artery becomes more and more compromised, various symptoms appear. Among them, severe pain can be present in the upper extremities, that is, the arms and forearms, which usually generates an impediment to moving them. However, it is usually relieved with rest.
If the affectation is in the carotid artery or the conductors that supply blood to the brain, it can cause dizziness, headache, unclear vision, and, in severe cases, lead to a stroke.
If the alteration is in the initial part of the aorta, it can cause congestive heart failure. At the same time, if it occurs in the abdominal aorta, vomiting, severe pain in the stomach, or intestinal infarction occurs. On the other hand, if the disorder is located in the renal arteries, there could be kidney failure or high blood pressure.
In the few cases in which the condition is found in the coronary arteries, symptoms such as angina pectoris, ischemic heart disease, and even the presence of an acute myocardial infarction are possible.
Treatment for Takayasu’s arteritis
In the presence of one or more of the symptoms detailed above, it is essential to consult a doctor as soon as possible. In this way, the treatment indicated for each case is given since it will be limited depending on the arteries or veins affected by Takayasu’s arteritis.
Despite the above, generally, treatments are based on corticosteroids and can complement various immunosuppressants or modulators of the immune system. This is usually prescribed during flare-ups, and your doctor may also recommend taking small doses of aspirin to prevent thrombi from forming.
In the most severe cases, the specialist may decide to unclog the arteries that are damaged with angioplasty or through surgical procedures, depending on each patient and the considerations of the enrollment.
It is essential to start treatment as soon as the pathology is diagnosed since, although it has a low mortality rate, the disability caused by the symptoms can be very high.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.