JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Anti-cytokine treatment for Takayasu arteritis: State of the art.

Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a rare and idiopathic large-vessel arteritis typically affecting young women which has important morbidity and mortality. There are no animal models of TA and pathogenesis is still mysterious. Clinical assessment lacks accurate activity indexes and is based on the integration of clinical, laboratory and radiological data. TA rarity has hampered randomized clinical trials and the achievement of high-quality evidence to guide clinical activity. Prevention of vascular progression, with progressive vessel wall remodelling and hyperplasia, is the main therapeutic goal. Medical therapy remains the mainstay of management and comprises traditional immunosuppressive agents and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as steroids and blockers of pivotal cytokines, TNF-α and IL-6. These strategies however only partially limit vascular progression, indicating that local molecular events are involved. Here we discuss recent data suggesting that selected cellular components of TA lesions should be evaluated as novel therapeutic targets.

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