Takayasu arteritis: Overview, Causes

Definition

Takayasu arteritis is an inflammation of the aorta — the artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body — and its major branches.

See also: Aortic arch syndrome

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

The cause of Takayasu arteritis is unknown. The disease occurs mainly in children and women younger than 30, especially those who are of Asian or African descent.

It appears to be an autoimmune condition, where immune cells are wrongly targeted against the body’s own tissues, and it may involve other systems.

Pictures & Images

Heart, section through the middle

The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.


Review Date : 2/5/2010
Reviewed By : Mark James Borigini, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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