In years past, luetic (syphilitic) aortitis was a fairly common cause of thoracic aortic aneurysm, but since the introduction of penicillin it has become rare. Takayasu’s disease is another form of aortitis which is seen, especially in women aged between 16 and 30 years. Arterial occlusions involve the proximal branches of the aortic arch, such as the brachiocephalic trunk, common carotid and subclavian arteries. In contrast to atherosclerosis, it is mostly young people that are affected. The disease is accompanied by signs of systemic illness and inflammation, such as a markedly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The disease has a tendency to progress. Treatment with anti-inflammatory agents including steroids is recommended, but their effectiveness has not been proven.