Ischemic stroke in Takayasu's arteritis: lesion patterns and possible mechanisms

J Clin Neurol. 2012 Jun;8(2):109-15. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2012.8.2.109. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Background and purpose: The purpose of the present study was to use brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to identify the mechanism of stroke in patients with Takayasu's arteritis (TA).

Methods: Among a retrospective cohort of 190 TA patients, 21 (3 males and 18 females) with a mean age of 39.9 years (range 15-68 years) who had acute cerebral infarctions were included in lesion pattern analyses. The patients' characteristics were reviewed, and infarction patterns and the degree of cerebral artery stenosis were evaluated. Ischemic lesions were categorized into five subgroups: cortical border-zone, internal border-zone, large lobar, large deep, and small subcortical infarctions.

Results: In total, 21 ischemic stroke events with relevant ischemic lesions on MRI were observed. The frequencies of the lesion types were as follows: large lobar (n=7, 33.3%), cortical border zone (n=6, 28.6%), internal border zone (n=1, 4.8%), small cortical (n=0, 0%), and large deep (n=7, 33.3%). MRA revealed that 11 patients had intracranial artery stenosis.

Conclusions: Hemodynamic compromise in large-artery stenosis and thromboembolic mechanisms play significant roles in ischemic stroke associated with TA.

Keywords: intracranial artery stenosis; thromboembolism; vasculitis.