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12-07-2018 | Takayasu arteritis | Case report | Article

Evolution into Takayasu arteritis in a patient presenting with acute pulmonary oedema due to severe aortic regurgitation; a case report

BMC Rheumatology

Authors: Nipun Lakshitha de Silva, Milinda Withana, Praveen Weeratunga, Prakash Priyadharshana, Inoshi Atukorala

Publisher: BioMed Central



Takayasu arteritis is a rare large vessel vasculitis which predominantly affects young Asian females. Aortic regurgitation and heart failure are well described manifestations which are usually preceded by constitutional symptoms, limb claudication, pulse and blood pressure discrepancies, vascular bruits and features of organ ischaemia.

Case presentation

A 25-year- old Sri Lankan female presented with a three days history of acute shortness of breath, cough and orthopnoea. On examination she had severe aortic regurgitation resulting in high output cardiac failure. There was no evidence of acute coronary ischaemia or infective endocarditis. The only significant investigation finding was an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) of 114 mm/first hour. The patient was treated for pulmonary oedema and empirically for infective endocarditis. Extensive evaluation for an underlying infection, large vessel vasculitis or malignancy did not reveal any abnormalities. Detailed periodic assessment identified reduced blood pressure in left arm (70/40 mmHg) compared to right (100/70 mmHg) and reduced pulse volume of left arm with left subclavian bruit more than one year after the initial presentation. Digital subtraction angiography revealed significant stenosis at first part of left subclavian and origin of left vertebral arteries. A diagnosis of Takayasu arteritis was made and patient was started on high dose glucocorticoids.


Takayasu arteritis can present initially with isolated cardiac involvement even as acute cardiac manifestations and high degree of suspicion with close follow up would allow early detection of development of other classic features and timely diagnosis.

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