Magnetic resonance imaging of vascular changes in Takayasu arteritis

Int J Cardiol. 1995 Nov 10;52(1):45-52. doi: 10.1016/0167-5273(95)02438-3.


We studied the thoracic aorta in 42 female patients with Takayasu arteritis by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a 1.5-T superconducting instrument and compared the findings with those in 10 healthy female controls. Images in the transaxial and oblique sagittal planes were acquired by cardiac gating using a spin-echo pulse sequence. Images in the oblique plane were also obtained with cine MRI. Vascular changes were found in 41 (98%) of the patients. Dilatation of the ascending aorta was observed in 20 patients (48%), while stenotic changes were more characteristic in the descending aorta (16 patients, 38%). Moderate signal-intensity masses on the aortic wall were encountered in 21 patients (50%), suggesting mural thrombi. Turbulent blood flow was observed around all masses by cine MRI. HLA analysis revealed that patients carrying HLA-B52 typing showed these masses more frequently than those without this typing (P < 0.05). Cine MRI demonstrated aortic regurgitation in 20 patients (48%), all of whom showed dilated ascending aorta; furthermore, 14 (70%) of them were confirmed as carrying HLA-B52. Thus, MRI was a useful non-invasive tool not only for the evaluation of the morphological changes in the aorta and its branches, and of the hemodynamic disturbance in Takayasu arteritis, but also for follow-up of the morbid condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aorta, Thoracic / pathology
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / etiology
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • HLA-B Antigens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine
  • Middle Aged
  • Subclavian Artery / pathology
  • Takayasu Arteritis / complications
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Takayasu Arteritis / genetics
  • Takayasu Arteritis / physiopathology


  • HLA-B Antigens