Vasculitis or Inflammation of Arteries

General or Other | Rheumatology | Vasculitis or Inflammation of Arteries (Disease)


Vasculitis is an inflammation of blood vessels (veins, arteries and capillaries). Vasculitis can affect blood vessels of any type, size or location and cause dysfunction in any organ in the body, including nervous system, central and peripheral.

Symptoms of vasculitis depend on the types of vessels are involved and the type of affected body . There are many symptoms as it may affect any organ or system. Where is affected skin rash may occur (a color change, appearance or texture of the skin). If decreased blood supply to the nerves, abnormal sensation may occur initially, followed later by loss of local sensitivity. Vasculitis found in the brain may lead to cerebral infarction and to the heart, a heart attack. Inflammatory reaction in kidney vasculitis, may cause changes in urine tests, and while the occurrence of chronic renal failure. Sometimes symptoms can be nonspecific, general type, such as fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, tiredness.

Causes and Risk factors

The actual cause of these vasculitis diseases is usually not known. However, immune system abnormality and inflammation of blood vessels are common features. Each form of vasculitis has its own characteristic pattern of symptoms, much of which depends on what particular organs are affected.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnose of vasculitis is based on the patients medical history, current symptoms, complete physical examination and specific laboratory test results. It can perform a complete hematologic analysis that shows changes that may occur in vasculitis. These changes include: Anemia, increased leukocytes (white cells); Increase platelet; Specific changes liver disease or kidney; Signs of allergic reaction. Blood tests can detect the existence of immune complexes or antibodies (how the body reacts to factors they consider threats) that may cause vasculitis. Additional tests include X-rays, tissue biopsies, cardiac imaging and vascular.

The treatment depends entirely on the degree and affected organs. If vasculitis is the result of an allergic reaction, may resolve spontaneously without requiring treatment. In other situations, when affected vital organs like lungs, kidneys or brain system, requires prompt and aggressive treatment. Systemic treatment includes corticosteroids. Cytostatic medication (used to treat cancer) is also used, but in much lower doses than those given to patients with cancer. Chemotherapy is to administer therapy to suppress abnormal immune response that cause damage to the blood vessels . ...