Long-Term Outcomes and Prognostic Factors of Complications in Takayasu Arteritis: A Multicenter Study of 318 Patients

Circulation. 2017 Sep 19;136(12):1114-1122. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.027094. Epub 2017 Jul 12.


Background: Because of the wide variation in the course of Takayasu arteritis (TA), predicting outcome is challenging. We assess long-term outcome and prognosis factors for vascular complications in patients with TA.

Methods: A retrospective multicenter study of characteristics and outcomes of 318 patients with TA fulfilling American College of Rheumatology and Ishikawa criteria was analyzed. Factors associated with event-free survival, relapse-free survival, and incidences of vascular complications were assessed. Risk factors for vascular complications were identified in a multivariable model.

Results: The median age at TA diagnosis was 36 [25-47] years, and 276 patients (86.8%) were women. After a median follow-up of 6.1 years, relapses were observed in 43%, vascular complications in 38%, and death in 5%. Progressive clinical course was observed in 45%, carotidodynia in 10%, and retinopathy in 4%. The 5- and 10-year event-free survival, relapse-free survival, and complication-free survival were 48.2% (42.2; 54.9) and 36.4% (30.3; 43.9), 58.6% (52.7; 65.1) and 47.7% (41.2; 55.1), and 69.9% (64.3; 76.0) and 53.7% (46.8; 61.7), respectively. Progressive disease course (P=0.018) and carotidynia (P=0.036) were independently associated with event-free survival. Male sex (P=0.048), elevated C-reactive protein (P=0.013), and carotidynia (P=0.003) were associated with relapse-free survival. Progressive disease course (P=0.017), thoracic aorta involvement (P=0.009), and retinopathy (P=0.002) were associated with complication-free survival.

Conclusions: This nationwide study shows that 50% of patients with TA will relapse and experience a vascular complication ≤10 years from diagnosis. We identified specific characteristics that identified those at highest risk for subsequent vascular complications.

Keywords: Takayasu arteritis; outcome; prognosis; relapse; vasculitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aorta, Thoracic / physiopathology
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Takayasu Arteritis / complications
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnosis*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / mortality
  • Takayasu Arteritis / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • C-Reactive Protein