Vasculitis is inflammation of your blood vessels. It causes changes in the blood vessel walls, including thickening, weakening, narrowing or scarring. These changes can restrict blood flow, resulting in organ and tissue damage. There are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare.
- We do not know what causes most types of Vasculitis. Genetic factors (different genes) appear be somewhat important in the disease. Vasculitis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which means the body comes under attack by its own immune system.
- Some cases of Vasculitis are caused by reactions to medicines, infections, complication of cancer. It can be a part of other Rheumatic diseases mainly Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Vasculitis affects persons of both sexes and all ages.
Vasculitis is a term for a group of rare diseases in which inflammation of blood vessels occurs. These vessels include arteries and veins. Vasculitis can result in poor blood flow to tissues throughout the body and disturbance in function of these organs.
It depends on type and severity of Vasculitis. Sometimes long term treatment is also required.
- Treatment of Vasculitis is to remove or treat the underlying cause whenever known (e.g. treatment of cancer or stopping responsible drug)
- Rheumatologists use Glucocorticoids, Cyclphosphamide, Methotrexate, Azathioprine or other immune-suppressing drugs to treat Vasculitis.
- Expert physicians suspect Vasculitis when a patient has symptoms and abnormal results of the physical exam/ lab tests or both; and there is no other clear cause. The affected organ or tissue biopsy (whenever possible) provides diagnosis.
- Imaging study like CT scan, MRI and Angiography etc can be used if needed to diagnose the condition.
Yes. Sometimes Vasculitis leads to life threatening complication.
- Vasculitis leads to two types of symptoms:
General symptoms related to inflammation of blood vessels like fever, loss of appetite, multiple joint pain and weight loss
- Related to poor blood supply to a particular organ:
Cough/shortness of breath (lung), numbness or weakness (brain), red spots or rashes (skin) etc.
- Body pains.
- Weakness after mild work.
- Joint pain and swelling.
- Swelling around eyelids.
- Rashes over face and hands.
- Breathlessness, dry cough.
- Difficulty in swallowing