Takayasu arteritis and ulcerative colitis: high rate of co-occurrence and genetic overlap

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 May;67(8):2226-32. doi: 10.1002/art.39157.


Objective: Takayasu arteritis (TAK) is a systemic vasculitis affecting large arteries and large branches of the aorta. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a prevalent autoimmune colitis. Since TAK and UC share HLA-B*52:01 and IL12B as genetic determinants, and since there are case reports of the co-occurrence of these diseases, we hypothesized that UC is a common complication of TAK. We undertook this study to perform a large-scale analysis of TAK, both to evaluate the prevalence of concurrent cases of TAK and UC and to identify and estimate susceptibility genes shared between the 2 diseases.

Methods: We analyzed a total of 470 consecutive patients with TAK from 14 institutions. We characterized patients with TAK and UC by analyzing clinical manifestations and genetic components. Genetic overlapping of TAK and UC was evaluated with the use of UC susceptibility single-nucleotide polymorphisms by comparing risk directions and effect sizes between susceptibility to the 2 diseases.

Results: Thirty of 470 patients with TAK had UC (6.4% [95% confidence interval 4.3-9.0]). This percentage was strikingly higher than that expected from the prevalence of UC in Japan. Patients with TAK complicated with UC developed TAK at an earlier stage of life (P = 0.0070) and showed significant enrichment of HLA-B*52:01 compared to TAK patients without UC (P = 1.0 × 10(-5) ) (odds ratio 12.14 [95% confidence interval 2.96-107.23]). The 110 non-HLA markers of susceptibility to UC significantly displayed common risk directions with susceptibility to TAK (P = 0.0054) and showed significant departure of permutation P values from expected P values (P < 1.0 × 10(-10) ).

Conclusion: UC is a major complication of TAK. These 2 diseases share a significant proportion of their genetic background, and HLA-B*52:01 may play a central role in their co-occurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / epidemiology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HLA-B52 Antigen / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40 / genetics*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Takayasu Arteritis / epidemiology
  • Takayasu Arteritis / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • HLA-B*52:01 antigen
  • HLA-B52 Antigen
  • IL12B protein, human
  • Interleukin-12 Subunit p40