Sudden Death Due to Unusual Complication of Takayasu Arteritis: An Autopsy Case

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Takayasu arteritis is an uncommon inflammatory disease with usually a good prognosis. However, sometimes, the evolution can be fatal essentially by a coronary arteries involvement. We present a case of a 19-year-old woman who died suddenly from cardiogenic shock complicating an unknown Takayasu arteritis.

At the autopsy, the aorta showed a significant thickening of the wall. The coronary arteries were slightly thickened and did not show any occlusion. Microscopic examination of the aorta showed an abundant granulomatous and a lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate. Microscopic sections of other internal organs showed signs of cardiac hypertrophy and an extensive edema of the lung. Death was attributed to acute heart failure complicating a supravalvular aortic stenosis secondary to unknown Takayasu arteritis.

Takayasu arteritis can be life-threatening by an occlusion of the ascending aorta and its major branches, without any coronary arteries involvement.

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