What is the role of tissue biopsy in the workup of Takayasu arteritis?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Jefferson R Roberts, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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In contrast to other vasculitides, tissue biopsy plays little to no role in the diagnosis of Takayasu arteritis, as histologic examination of the great vessels is usually possible only at the time of vascular procedures or postmortem. Biopsy of medium- to large-sized vessels may be diagnostic in early stages of the disease; however, in the chronic phase, diagnosis based on biopsy alone is inadequate. Whenever possible, the feasibility of submitting arterial tissue should be discussed with the attending surgeon prior to any surgical revascularization procedure.

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