The blood vessel disorders giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis aren’t exactly household names, but to people suffering from the inflammatory conditions they can mean intense pain and in the worst case, a potentially deadly stroke or aortic aneurysm.
Mayo Clinic rheumatologist Steven Ytterberg, M.D., joined in a study examining the similarities and differences between giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis as part of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium, a National Institutes of Health-funded effort investigating inflammatory blood vessel disorders.
The study examined patients’ magnetic resonance angiograms and found strong similarities but also subtle differences in the patterns of arterial disease in the two disorders. Dr. Ytterberg says the study may help rheumatologists develop criteria they can use to diagnose giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis.
“I think it will change the way we understand the two diseases,” Dr. Ytterberg says. He says one unanswered question is whether giant cell arteritis _ which tends to affect older people _ and Takayasu’s arteritis, mainly found in girls and women under 40, are really one disease that simply looks different in younger patients than in older ones.
The research is published online this month in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Journalists: The following two video clips are available for embedding and use in your stories. In the first, Dr. Ytterberg describes giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis, including their symptoms, treatments and potential complications. In the second, Dr. Ytterberg discusses the significance of a recent study examining similarities and differences between the two disorders.