Takayasu's disease and temporal arteritis

J M Giordano
Seminars in Vascular Surgery 1995, 8 (4): 335-41
Takayasu's disease and temporal arteritis are similar entities that predominantly affect women. There are significant differences. Takayasu's disease is a rare disorder that affects the aorta and its main branches in young women, whereas temporal arteritis is a common disorder that affects small- to medium-sized arteries of elderly women. The pathology of Takayasu's disease extends to all three arterial layers, whereas in temporal arteritis the disease affects the media and adventitia less, with giant cells more prominent. The diagnosis of Takayasu's disease depends on clinical presentation and characteristics of angiography, whereas temporal arteritis is diagnosed by clinical findings and arterial biopsy. Steroids are only palliative in Takayasu's disease with a high incidence of recurrences, whereas steroids in temporal arteritis are curative with good long-term results. Finally, surgery plays an important role in the care of patients with Takayasu's disease, but is used infrequently in those patients diagnosed with temporal arteritis.

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