This study states that Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a rare large-vessel vasculitis that puts patients at high risk of developing severe ischemic events (SIE). Outcomes for TA patients with SIE are poorly understood. We aim to describe the characteristics of TA patients experiencing SIE.

All TA patients with at least 1 followup visit seen between 1988 and 2015 were included from 3 academic centers in Ontario, Canada. Diagnosis was based on American College of Rheumatology criteria, physician opinion, and vascular imaging. SIE were defined as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), ischemic cardiomyopathy, ischemic blindness, and/or ischemic bowel or limb requiring surgery.

Of the 52 patients with TA included in the study, 51 (98%) were female and 22 (42%) were of European descent. The mean age was 31 (SD 12) at the time of diagnosis and the followup time was 6 years (SD 5). Fifteen (29%) experienced an SIE: 5 CVA, 5 ACS, 1 ischemic cardiomyopathy, and 4 limb ischemia. Thirteen out of 15 SIE (87%) occurred at or before diagnosis. Patients with SIE were more likely than those without SIE to be started on corticosteroids combined with immunosuppressants (p = 0.04) and antiplatelet agents (p = 0.004). Outcomes including disease activity and damage scores were similar between patients with and without SIE.

Reference link-