Arteritis is the inflammation of arteries that damages the blood vessel walls in the body and reduces the blood flow to the organs. Arteritis, a complex disease, is not yet fully understood. Arteritis can be divided into different types based on the organ system affected by the disease. The complication of arteritis is thrombosis, which can be fatal. Arteritis and phlebitis are a type of vasculitis.
In this article, we will focus on a specific kind of Arteritis called the Takayasu’s Arteritis.
Takayasu’s arteritis defines the inflammation in the walls of the largest arteries in your body. The arteries most commonly affected are the aorta and its branches, including the blood vessels that supply blood to the arms and travel through the neck to provide it to the brain.
The damage caused to the aorta usually fails the aortic valve in the heart. Takayasu’s arteritis is also known as "pulseless disease" because, in 90% of patients, one or more of these arteries are narrowed or occluded.
This disease was named after Dr Mikoto Takayasu, who was the first doctor to describe the disorder in 1908.
The symptoms of the first stage of Takayasu’s arteritis include:
Pain in muscles or joints
Unintended weight loss
Whereas, the later-stage or second-stage symptoms of Takayasu’s arteritis include:
Shortness of breath.
A weak pulse, difficulty getting blood pressure.
Stomach ache from decreased blood flow to your intestines.
High blood pressure.
The cause of initial inflammation in Takayasu’s Arteritis is rare and undiagnosed. In Takayasu's arteritis, the aorta and other major arteries that connect to the head and kidneys can become inflamed. Over time, inflammation causes changes in these arteries, such as thickening, stenosis, and scarring.
It is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the arteries of its own body by mistake. Also, it is likely to be triggered by a virus or other infection.
In minor cases of Takayasu’s arteritis, the treatment focuses on reducing the inflammation and damage to artery walls. No medication is needed in this case.
On the other hand, in many severe cases, corticosteroids such as prednisone are initially given at high doses. The dose is reduced over the next few weeks or months. Cytotoxic drugs such as methotrexate and azathioprine help reduce the response of the immune system. These drugs are also used to fight cancer.
When medications do not affect the body, various tests and procedures are needed. For example, coronary artery bypass grafting may be necessary if the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are severely narrowed. In this surgery, blood vessels are taken from another part of the body and attached to the occluded arteries in the heart. This allows blood to detour around the obstruction.
Takayasu’s arteritis is treatable. However, it is clear that patients in the serious stage have to deal with the serious consequences of this disease. Medicines used to treat illness have side effects and require regular monitoring by a doctor, so close follow-up is required.
If you need further information or assistance regarding this disease, then contact us right away!
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