Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack in Takayasu's Arteritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2016 Apr;25(4):781-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2015.12.005. Epub 2016 Jan 13.


Background: Cerebrovascular disease is one of the possible consequences of Takayasu's arteritis (TA). However, little is known about the prevalence of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) or its related clinical features among these patients. We have performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the rate and risk factors of stroke/TIA in TA as well as to explore associations with poorer outcomes.

Methods: MEDLINE and Embase were searched (October 2014) for observational studies of any design reporting prevalence rates of stroke/TIA among TA patients. Study selection, data collection, and quality assessment were done independently. Studies' results were pooled through random-effect meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was assessed with the I(2) test.

Results: Twenty-one studies (16 studies were of cohort design) were included (n = 3269). The pooled stroke/TIA prevalence rate estimate was 15.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.7%-22.6%, I(2) = 94%). Sensitivity analysis, excluding 8 studies with poorer TA diagnostic criteria, yielded a similar estimate but without statistical heterogeneity (15.7%; 95% CI: 13.6%-18.1%, I(2) = 5.5%). Data were unavailable to explore possible associations between patients' characteristics and stroke/TIA prevalence.

Conclusion: Our results document a high prevalence of stroke/TIA among TA patients. However, there is scarce information on the type of stroke, the characteristics of the affected individuals, and stroke-associated morbidity and mortality. Future studies should aim to further explore this disabling complication to find the best treatment and prevention strategies.

Keywords: TIA; Takayasu's arteritis; aortic arch syndrome; aortitis; cerebrovascular; large-vessel vasculitis; pulseless disease; stroke.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / epidemiology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / complications*