Clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients with Takayasu arteritis coexisting with myocardial ischemia and neurological symptoms: A multicenter, long-term, follow-up study

Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Aug 3;9:948124. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.948124. eCollection 2022.


Background: The incidence of coexisting myocardial ischemia and neurological symptoms in Takayasu arteritis (TA) is currently unknown. There is no standardized treatment algorithm in complex cases involving the coronary and intracranial arteries.

Objective: This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients with TA coexisting with myocardial ischemia and neurological symptoms.

Methods: We retrospectively collected and assessed 1,580 patients with TA, and enrolled patients with myocardial ischemia and neurological symptoms from January 2002 to December 2021 in several hospitals. The incidence, clinical features, management strategy, and prognosis of these patients were evaluated.

Results: Ninety-four (5.9%, 94/1,580) patients with TA coexisting with myocardial ischemia and neurological symptoms were included in the present study. Imaging results showed that the subclavian arteries were the most frequently affected arteries and 37 patients had intracranial vascular abnormalities, comprising the basilar artery (6.1%, 17/279), middle cerebral artery (2.5%, 7/279), anterior cerebral artery (2.9%, 8/279), and posterior cerebral artery (1.9%, 5/279). Among patients with neurological symptoms, 25 patients underwent percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and 20 patients underwent stent implantation. The most common site of stenosis was the ostial and proximal segments of the coronary artery, with 142 lesions among 188 (75.5%) lesions. Thirty-eight patients adopted interventional therapy, 21 patients underwent surgical treatment, and the remaining 35 patients received conservative treatment. There were 20 (21.27%, 20/94) late deaths during a mean follow-up of 57.79 months. The mortality rate in the conservative treatment group was significantly higher than that in the interventional therapy and surgical treatment groups.

Conclusion: Patients with TA involving both the coronary and intracranial vessels are not rare. Stenosis and occlusion lesions most frequently involve the ostia and proximal segment of the arteries. Severe vascular lesions should be revascularized as soon as possible. These patients should be supplemented with glucocorticoids, antiplatelet, nitrates, and statins.

Keywords: Takayasu arteritis; management strategy; myocardial ischemia; neurological symptoms; prognosis.