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February 1981

Circulating Immune Complexes in Takayasu Disease: Lack of Evidence for a Causative Role

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(2):162-163. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340020024009

Takayasu disease is well known by its characteristic clinical feature of pulselessness and by the epidemiologic fact that most patients are young females from Asian or South American areas. The cause of the disease remains obscure. An autoimmune mechanism is generally accepted as the cause, but certain clinical and laboratory data do not support this hypothesis.

We investigated the circulating immune complex (CIC) levels in Takayasu disease, as they play an important role in the induction of injury to tissues in the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. We found that CICs are not the primary causative factor in this condition, although they may accelerate or modify the pathophysiologic state.

PATIENTS AND METHODS  Blood samples were obtained from 34 women and three men (mean age, 33.5 ± 1.8 years) with Takayasu disease and 33 young, healthy women (21.2 ± 0.8 years of age). These samples were immediately divided into two sterile