Coronary artery vasculitis: a review of current literature

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2021 Jan 6;21(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s12872-020-01813-6.


Cardiac vasculitis is recognized as a heterogeneous disease process with a wide spectrum of manifestations including pericarditis, myocarditis, valvular heart disease and less frequently, coronary artery vasculitis (CAV). CAV encompasses an emerging field of diseases which differ from conventional atherosclerotic disease and have a proclivity for the younger population groups. CAV portends multiple complications including the development of coronary artery aneurysms, coronary stenotic lesions, and thrombosis, all which may result in acute coronary syndromes. There are several aetiologies for CAV; with Kawasaki's disease, Takayasu's arteritis, Polyarteritis Nodosa, and Giant-Cell Arteritis more frequently described clinically, and in literature. There is a growing role for multi-modality imaging in assisting the diagnostic process; including transthoracic echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography coronary angiography, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and conventional coronary angiogram with intravascular ultrasound. Whilst the treatment paradigms fundamentally vary between different aetiologies, there are overlaps with pharmacological regimes in immunosuppressive agents and anti-platelet therapies. Interventional and surgical management are is a consideration in select populations groups, within a multi-disciplinary context. Further large-scale studies are required to better appropriately outline management protocols in this niche population.

Keywords: Coronary artery vasculitis; Giant cell arteritis; Kawasaki’s disease; Polyarteritis nodosa; Takayasu’s arteritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Imaging Techniques
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / therapy
  • Giant Cell Arteritis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Giant Cell Arteritis* / epidemiology
  • Giant Cell Arteritis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome* / therapy
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa* / diagnostic imaging
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa* / epidemiology
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa* / therapy
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Takayasu Arteritis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Takayasu Arteritis* / epidemiology
  • Takayasu Arteritis* / therapy