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Int J Cardiol. 2004 Jun;95(2-3):351-4.

Takayasu arteritis of subclavian artery in a Caucasian.


Takayasu arteritis, an inflammatory and obliterative disease of medium and large arteries, is classified as a giant cell arteritis. It has a predilection for the aortic arch, its main branches, and coronary and pulmonary arteries. The early symptoms of Takayasu arteritis may be mainly systemic and may resemble polymyalgia rheumatica. The etiology is unknown but autoimmunity has been suggested to play a role. Diagnosis is based on symptoms, physical findings, and imaging, because tissue diagnosis is rarely feasible. Unlike atherosclerotic vascular disease, Takayasu arteritis affects primarily, but not exclusively, young women. Contrary to earlier reports, it is not limited to the women of Japanese origin but is present worldwide. The current report is of a Caucasian woman who presented with nonspecific complaints of upper back pain, weakness, malaise, and fatigue. Her physical examination revealed absent left radial pulse and a blood pressure differential, later confirmed by radiological imaging studies to be due to left subclavian artery stenosis consistent with Takayasu arteritis. The presentation and management of the patient is described, and Takayasu arteritis is succinctly reviewed.

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