Takayasu's arteritis (TA) is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of large vessels. Individuals of any race, gender, or age may be affected by TA, but it is most common in young Asian females. Current data provide increasing support for an autoimmune basis for TA, but the cause remains unknown. Parameters of disease activity and imaging studies evaluating disease progression are imperfect. Treatment is aimed at controlling disease with minimal morbidity. Appropriate timing of improved surgical techniques is invaluable in the management of TA.