The severity of Takayasu's arteritis may vary. In some people, the condition remains mild and doesn't produce complications. But in others, extended or recurring cycles of inflammation and healing in the arteries can lead to one or more of the following:
- Hardening and narrowing of blood vessels, which can cause reduced blood flow to organs and tissues
- High blood pressure, usually as a result of decreased blood flow to your kidneys
- Inflammation of the heart, which may affect the heart muscle (myocarditis), the heart valves (valvulitis) or the sac around the heart (pericarditis)
- Heart failure due to high blood pressure, myocarditis or aortic regurgitation — a condition in which a faulty aortic valve allows blood to leak back into your heart — or a combination of these
- Ischemic stroke, a type of stroke that occurs as a result of reduced or blocked blood flow in arteries leading to your brain
- Transient ischemic attack, a temporary stroke that has all the symptoms of an ischemic stroke without causing lasting damage
- Aneurysm in the aorta, which occurs when the walls of the blood vessel weaken and stretch out, forming a bulge that has the potential to rupture
- Heart attack, an uncommon event that may occur as a result of reduced blood flow to the heart
- Lung involvement when the arteries to the lungs (pulmonary arteries) become diseased
A healthy pregnancy is possible for women with Takayasu's arteritis. However, the disease can affect your fertility and pregnancy. If you have Takayasu's arteritis and are planning on becoming pregnant, it's important to work with your doctor to develop a comprehensive plan to limit complications of pregnancy before you conceive. In addition, you'll be closely monitored throughout your pregnancy.
March 13, 2013
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- Shields RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., Feb. 10, 2013.
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