Ocular manifestations of Takayasu arteritis: a cross-sectional study

Retina. 2011 Jun;31(6):1170-8. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0b013e3181fe540b.


Purpose: To detail the spectrum of eye manifestations in Takayasu arteritis and factors predisposing to its development.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 61 patients with proven Takayasu arteritis who were identified during a 16-month period were evaluated for disease- and treatment-related eye manifestations. A fundus fluorescein angiography examination was performed where indicated and with the patients consent.

Results: The mean (±standard deviation) duration of illness before ophthalmic evaluation was 55 ± 69 months. Decreased vision was the most common ocular symptom (30%). Thirty-five patients underwent fundus fluorescein angiography examination. Takayasu retinopathy was seen in 9 (15%), ocular ischemic syndrome in 4 (7%), and hypertensive retinopathy in 10 (16%) patients. The most common treatment-related ocular complication was steroid-induced cataract (23%). Other manifestations included iris neovascularization (n = 3), anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (n = 2), steroid-induced glaucoma (n = 1), neovascular glaucoma (n = 1), and uveitis (n = 1). Those manifesting Takayasu retinopathy and ocular ischemic syndrome had significantly (P < 0.05) lower blood pressure in both upper limbs compared with patients not manifesting ischemic retinopathy. A significant (P < 0.03) proportion of patients with Takayasu retinopathy and ocular ischemic syndrome had a nonrecordable right upper limb blood pressure.

Conclusion: Disease- and treatment-related ocular complications are not infrequent in Takayasu arteritis. Arteritis involving the aortic arch and its branches favors the development of ischemic ocular complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnosis*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Vision Disorders / drug therapy
  • Visual Acuity


  • Glucocorticoids