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Mahdi from Afghanistan asks: My wife was told she has Takayasu’s arteritis, but her tests (ESR, CRP) came back normal. Is this possible?
Takayasu’s arteritis is a form of vasculitis. It is unique in that it affects large blood vessels, and is generally diagnosed in individuals under the age of 40. It causes inflammation in the blood vessels, which can disrupt blood flow, or cause the wall of the blood vessel to become thinner than it should. While markers for inflammation in blood tests can often be elevated in most forms of vasculitis, it is also possible for them to be normal. A normal test does not rule out Takayasu’s arteritis. While not for everyone, in some patients, a normal ESR or CRP may indicate that the disease is not currently active; damage has been done to the blood vessel causing blood flow disruption (no pulse), but smaller blood vessels have developed to provide the necessary blood flow in its place.