Untreated Takayasu arteritis: An unusual case of widespread disease

Thomas J. Breen, Thomas G. Osborn, Jennifer Kleinman Sween

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 38-year-old man with no medical history presented with bilateral flank and epigastric abdominal pain. CT abdomen and pelvis demonstrated diffuse nodules and lymphadenopathy, which were biopsied and showed chronic inflammatory changes. He later presented with pleuritic chest pain and was sent for a CT chest angiogram, which revealed perivascular inflammation involving the thoracic aortic arch, supra-aortic branch vessels and descending thoracic aorta. Further work-up showed vasculitic involvement of the coeliac, superior mesenteric and femoral arteries with heavy collateralisation. These findings were most consistent with widespread Takayasu arteritis that had been untreated for nearly 20 years. It was necessary to define the degree of active inflammation and need for immediate therapy, as the patient had a concomitant latent tuberculosis infection that precluded the use of immunosuppressive medications. This report illustrates an unusual case of Takayasu arteritis and highlights the presentation, diagnosis and work-up of suspected cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere234825
JournalBMJ case reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 24 2020


  • radiology
  • rheumatology
  • vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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