In Takayasu's arteritis, the aorta and other major arteries, including those leading to your head and kidneys, become inflamed. Over time, the inflammation causes changes in these arteries, including thickening, narrowing and scarring. The result is reduced blood flow to vital tissues and organs, which can lead to serious complications and even death. Sometimes arteries become abnormally dilated, leading to aneurysms that may rupture.

Just what causes the initial inflammation in Takayasu's arteritis isn't known. It's likely that Takayasu's arteritis is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system malfunctions and attacks your own arteries as if they were foreign substances. The disease may be triggered by a virus or other infection.

Mar. 13, 2013

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