Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of endovascular therapy combined with immunosuppression for the treatment of arterial occlusive disease in patients with Takayasu's arteritis (TA).
Methods: From January 1998 to June 2003, 25 patients (22 women; age 37.8+/-15.5 years) with TA were treated with angioplasty for symptomatic lesions or with a hemodynamically significant aortic narrowing. The patients with active disease, defined as an increase in inflammatory markers (e.g., erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR]), were treated with immunosuppressive agents before intervention. Angioplasty was performed after the ESR had been normalized.
Results: In the 25 patients, 58 vascular territories (7 aortic, 9 carotid, 3 vertebral, 11 subclavian, 2 superior mesenteric, 18 renal, 4 iliac, and 4 coronary arteries) were treated with angioplasty only (19 lesions) or with stents (39 lesions). The mean ESR when the vascular lesions were initially diagnosed was 35.6+/-26.2 mm/h, which fell to 18.5+/-7.8 mm/h after immunosuppressive therapy. The endovascular procedure was performed successfully in 52 (90%) of 58 lesions. During the mean 23.7+/-18.4-month follow-up, 9 (17%) treated segments restenosed; 4 were treated with repeat angioplasty. The overall cumulative primary clinical success rate was 82%; secondary clinical success was 90%.
Conclusions: Endovascular therapy for stenotic lesions in patients with TA is safe and effective when disease activity is strictly controlled with immunosuppressive treatment.