Takayasu arteritis: is disease activity assessment possible?
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Online publication date: 2013-04-29
Reumatologia 2013;51(2):144-150
Takayasu arteritis is a rare disease of large arteries. Its onset is insidious and may be missed while the ongoing inflammation causes irreversible consequences: cardiovascular complications, vessel obstruction, vision loss and hypertension crisis. The disease is systemic; therefore patients are seen by various specialists: rheumatologist, ophthalmologist, cardiologist and surgeon. Current therapy affects only active inflammation whereas prolonged treatment with corticosteroids results in distant side effects and should not be overused. In order to estimate the effectiveness of the treatment and necessity of its modification it is essential to assess the activity of the inflammation.
In a diagnostic procedure ultrasonography (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are of significant importance. Positron emission tomography (PET) seems to be sensitive but expensive, is not readily available and requires further validation. Laboratory indicators, such as interleukin 6, 12 and 18, are being checked as biomarkers of active disease but current data come from small studies. Studies on a complex scale assessing disease activity, such as DEI.Tak, are also being carried out. However, none of the present tools is universal.
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