Pentraxin-3 (PTX3) levels reflect ongoing vascular inflammation in Takayasu arteritis (TA). (A) Plasma concentrations of PTX3 in patients with TA and matched systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients or healthy controls. (B, C) Plasma concentrations of PTX3 in patients with TA do not correlate in patients with C-reactive protein (CRP) or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels. (D- F) CRP and ESR levels, but not PTX3, identify ongoing systemic inflammation in patients with TA, as assessed using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria for active and inactive disease. (G- I) PTX3, CRP and ESR levels stratified on the basis of vascular wall enhancement. PTX3 is a more sensitive maker of vascular inflammation, based on the presence of vascular wall enhancement after contrast medium infusion, than CRP of ESR. (J) Representative images of magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) assessment of vascular inflammation in a patient with TA, with vivid enhancement in the thickened arterial wall of the anonym and subclavian arteries (white arrows); patent lumen of the anonym artery (black arrowhead); sub-occluded lumen of the subclavian artery (white arrowhead). (K) MRA image of a patient with TA with thickened left carotid artery with enhancement (black arrows) and thickened right carotid artery without enhancement (white arrows); white arrowheads indicate patent arterial lumen.