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Case Reports in Rheumatology
Volume 2017, Article ID 4580967, 5 pages
Case Report

Improvement of Arterial Wall Lesions in Parallel with Decrease of Plasma Pentraxin-3 Levels in a Patient with Refractory Takayasu Arteritis after Treatment with Tocilizumab

1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya City University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Taio Naniwa;

Received 15 March 2017; Accepted 18 May 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Gregory J. Tsay

Copyright © 2017 Shiho Iwagaitsu and Taio Naniwa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 19-year-old Japanese woman with active Takayasu arteritis despite multiple conventional immunosuppressive therapies with glucocorticoids in combination with intravenous cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, or infliximab with methotrexate and tacrolimus was successfully treated by switching from infliximab to intravenous tocilizumab. Worsening of claudication of the legs and elevated acute phase reactants, including plasma pentraxin-3 levels, were observed during combination therapy with infliximab. Computed tomography demonstrated increased wall thickening with contrast enhancement in the preexisting lesion of the descending aorta and the femoral arteries. After switching from infliximab to tocilizumab, plasma pentraxin-3 levels gradually decreased to the normal range in parallel with the improvement of claudication. Follow-up computed tomographic scans confirmed the marked improvement of these arterial lesions. Moreover, plasma pentraxin-3 level was increased in response to the worsening of claudication that occurred just after switching to a subcutaneous tocilizumab injection. Measurements of plasma pentraxin-3 might be useful for evaluation of the vascular wall inflammation and therapeutic efficacy even during biologic therapy targeting tumor necrosis factor α and interleukin-6.