Association between Takayasu arteritis and latent or active Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection: a systematic review

  • Ana Luisa S. Pedreira
  • Mittermayer B. SantiagoEmail author
Review Article


Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a granulomatous vasculitis of large vessels with unknown aetiopathogenesis. An association between TA and tuberculosis (TB) has been suggested by several authors. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the literature on the association of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MT) infection in patients with TA. The research was conducted using the PUBMED/Medline and LILACS databases including studies published until June 2019 and using the descriptors “takayasu arteritis”, “tuberculosis”, “mycobacterium tuberculosis”, “purified protein derivate” (PPD), “mantoux test”, “quantiferon tb gold”, and “interferon gamma release assay” (IGRA). A total of 113 publications were found, but only 38 publications were included after the pre-established criteria were applied. The results were divided into (1) active TB in adolescents with TA: 13 cases; (2) active TB in adults with TA: 116 cases, with a prevalence ranging from 6.3 to 20%, including a South Korean study of 267 cases of TA that found a prevalence of active TB of 17.7%; (3) latent TB in TA patients: the most widely used method was PPD, and only one study compared PPD with IGRA; the prevalence ranged from 20 to 82%; (4) findings that indicate TB in arterial biopsy or autopsies: 5 studies, with different results ranging from an absence of MT DNA in the aortic tissue to 70% positivity; and (5) immunological studies that evaluated the presence of antimycobacterial antibodies and heat shock proteins in TA patients. Although most of the studies show a high prevalence of TB, it is not possible to establish a causal relationship. We suggest that greater care be taken with latent TB screening in patients who are TA candidates for immunosuppressive therapy.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis Systematic review Takayasu arteritis Tuberculosis 


Compliance with ethical standards




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bahiana School of Medicine and Public HealthSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Serviços Especializados em Reumatologia da BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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