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Home :: Immune Disorders

Vasculitis - Causes and Treatment


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Allergic Rhinitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Blood Transfusion Reaction
Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis
Common Variable Immunodeficiency
Digeorge Syndrome
Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Goodpastures Syndrome
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lupus Erythematosus
Polymyalgia Rheumatica
Polymyositis Dermatomyositis
Reiters Syndrome
Sjogrens Syndrome
Systemic Sclerosis
Urticaria Angioedem

“Vasculitis” is a general term for a group of diseases that involve inflammation in blood vessels. Blood vessels of all sizes may be affected, from the largest vessel in the body (the aorta) to the smallest blood vessels in the skin (capillaries). Vasculitis, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own blood vessels, causing them to become inflamed. Inflammation can damage the blood vessels and lead to a number of serious complications. Vasculitis can affect any of the body's blood vessels. Blood vessels of all sizes may be affected, from the largest vessel in the body (the aorta) to the smallest blood vessels in the skin (capillaries). These include arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body's organs, veins are the vessels that carry blood back to the heart, and capillaries are the tiny blood vessels that connect the small arteries and veins. There are many types of vasculitis, and vasculitis can affect people of all ages. Some age groups are affected more than others, depending on the type of vasculitis. Patients usually present with systemic symptoms with single or multiorgan dysfunction. Common (and nonspecific) complaints include fatigue, weakness, fever, arthralgias, abdominal pain, hypertension, renal insufficiency, and neurologic dysfunction. The main goal of treatment is to stop the inflammation. Steroids and other medicines to stop inflammation are often helpful

Causes of vasculitis

Common causes of vasculitis

  • Inflammation.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Immune system.
  • Autoimmune system diseases.

Symptoms of vasculitis

Common Symptoms of Vasculitis

  • Fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Fever.
  • Arthralgias.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Hypertension.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Neurologic dysfunction.

Treatment of vasculitis

Common Treatment of vasculitis

  • Most vasculitis in general are treated with steroids (e.g. methylprednisolone ) because the underlying cause of the vasculitis is due to hyperactive immunological damage. Immunosuppressants such as cyclophosphamide and azathioprine may also be given.
  • NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), can be effective in treating mild symptoms of some types of vasculitis, such as polymyalgia rheumatica or Kawasaki disease.
  • Corticosteroid medicines are often called steroids, though these are not the same kind of steroids that athletes have been reported to use. These medicines are used to reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels.
  • Cytotoxic medicines are typically used to treat cancer, but certain drugs also can be used to treat vasculitis.