Intracranial and extracranial neurovascular manifestations of takayasu arteritis

K. M. Bond, D. Nasr, V. Lehman, G. Lanzino, H. J. Cloft, W. Brinjikji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Takayasu arteritis is a rare, large-vessel vasculitis that presents with symptoms related to end-organ ischemia. While the extracranial neurovascular manifestations of Takayasu arteritis are well-established, little is known regarding the intracranial manifestations. In this study, we characterize the intracranial and cervical neurovascular radiologic findings in patients with Takayasu arteritis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with Takayasu arteritis who presented to our institution between 2001 and 2016 with intracranial and/or cervical vascular imaging were included in this study. Images were evaluated for the presence of vascular abnormalities, including intracranial or extracranial stenosis, vessel-wall thickening, dissection, subclavian steal, aneurysms, infarcts, and hemorrhages. Descriptive analyses are reported. RESULTS: Seventy-nine patients with Takayasu arteritis met the criteria for inclusion in this study. The most common presenting neurologic symptoms were headache (32.9%) and dizziness (15.2%). Intracranial and extracranial vascular imaging was performed in 84.8% and 89.9% of patients, respectively. Among patients with intracranial vascular imaging, 3 (3.9%) had intracranial aneurysms, 3 (3.9%) had acute large-vessel occlusion, 6 (7.6%) had intracranial vasculitis, and 1 (1.3%) had reversible cerebrovascular constriction syndrome. Among patients with cervical vascular imaging, 42 (53.1%) had some degree of narrowing of the common carotid artery and 18 (22.8%) had narrowing of the ICAs. Seventeen patients (23.6%) had subclavian steal. CONCLUSIONS: Intracranial vascular abnormalities in patients with Takayasu arteritis presenting with neurologic symptoms are not rare, with cerebral vasculitis seen in 7.8% of patients, and stroke secondary to large-vessel occlusion, in 3.9% of patients. Cervical vascular manifestations of Takayasu arteritis were present in most patients in our study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-772
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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