Giant cell Arteritis and Takayasu arteritis (Large Vessel Vasculitis) - signs, pathophysiology

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Case description

Vasculitis is inflammation of the blood vessels resulting in damaged vessels leading to potential complication such as tissue ischaemia from lumen narrowing or from thromboembolic events from platelet consumption during vessel repair. Primary vasculitides are classified into the size of the blood vessels affected; large vessel, medium vessel and small vessel vasculitis. The large vessel vasculitis includes giant cell arteritis and Takayasu arteritis. Giant cell arteritis (GCA) also known as temporal arteritis is defined as a granulomatous arteritis of the aorta and the large vessel. Typically affects the aorta and/or its major branches. GCA presents in the elderly population with a higher propensity towards females. A new non-specific usually severe headache/neck pain, tenderness along the temporal artery and visual changes should raise suspicion of GCA. Takayasu arteritis also known as pulseless disease, is a granulomatous arteritis that predominantly affects the aorta and the great vessels. It is named after the Japanese Professor Mikito Takayasu who first described the findings of the disease in the young Japanese population group. Unlike GCA, which typically affects elderly women, Takayasu arteritis is more common in young women and is highly prevalent in the Asian population. The pathological changes that occur in Takayasu arteritis is similar to GCA.


Video by: Armando Hasudungan

tags: Takayasu arteritis giant cell arteritis GCA vasculitis


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Natalia Dułak

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