Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess vessel involvement and activity of Takayasu arteritis (TA) with whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and vessel wall imaging.
Methods: Whole-body MRA was performed in 42 patients with TA. In 23 of them, precontrast and postcontrast high-resolution vessel wall imagings were acquired. Three of 23 patients had follow-up imaging after medical treatment. According to TA activity criteria, these 26 vessel wall imagings were clinically divided into 2 groups: active (n = 18) and remissive group (n = 8). Vessel wall thickness and postcontrast signal intensity of vessel wall relative to adjacent muscle were analyzed.
Results: Whole-body MRA yielded a diagnostic image of systemic and pulmonary artery. For vessel wall imaging, wall thickness of the active group (6.12 ± 1.1 mm) was thicker than that of the remissive group (4.31 ± 0.98 mm; P < 0.05). Postcontrast signal intensity ratio was significantly different between 2 groups (active vs remissive, 1.56 ± 0.40 vs 1.17 ± 0.21, P < 0.05). Based on the abnormalities revealed by combined whole-body MRA and vessel wall imaging, Lupi-Herrera's classification was modified in 8 of 23 patients.
Conclusions: Whole-body MRA combined with vessel wall imaging had the potential for a comprehensive evaluation of disease extent and activity of TA.