International angiology : a journal of the International Union of Angiology vol:22 issue:4 pages:414-20
AIM: To evaluate the clinical features, angiographic findings and evolution of Takayasu's arteritis in a Belgian tertiary center, and to compare the findings with published series of Western patients. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 15 patients with Takayasu's arteritis, satisfying the American College of Rheumathology criteria, in the period 1986 to 2002. Published series of Western patients were identified by means of a Medline search and citation-tracking. RESULTS: Diagnosis was often delayed, with a median period of 9 months. Patients presented with a variety of symptoms and clinical signs and had on average 4.5 arterial segments involved at angiography. Twelve patients received corticosteroid treatment and 4 of them additional immunosuppressive drugs. Five patients underwent angioplasty and/or stenting and 8 patients had open surgical procedures. During follow-up, there were 2 cardiac deaths and 2 other patients died from intracranial hemorrhage. Comparison with published series of other Western patients did not reveal major differences of anatomical distributions of the lesions, but left the impression that more aggressive use of immunosuppressive drugs might have improved the outcome. CONCLUSION: Takayasu's arteritis results in an important morbidity and mortality. More aggressive medical therapy may be advantageous, but this would require adequate investigation in a controlled trial for which a multicenter effort is needed because of the rarity of the disease.