VASCULITIS

Description

  • It is an inflammation of the blood vessels
  • Causes changes in the walls of blood vessels, including thickening, weakening, etc.
  • These changes restrict blood flow, resulting in organ and tissue damage

Symptoms

General Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • General aches and pains
  • Night sweats
  • Rash
  • Nerve problems, such as numbness or weakness
  • Loss of a pulse in a limb

Symptoms for some types of Vasculitis:

  • Behcet’s syndrome
  • Buerger’s disease
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  • Hypersensitivity vasculitis
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Polyarteritis nodosa

Causes

  • Exact cause is not fully understood

Can be due to:

  • Infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • Blood cancers
  • Immune system diseases
  • Reactions to certain drugs

Diagnostic Tests

  • Blood Tests
  • Urine Tests
  • X-rays of the blood vessels (angiography)
  • Biopsy
  • Computerized tomography (CT) Scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

Treatment

  • Treatment is focused on controlling the inflammation
  • Corticosteroids to control inflammation
  • Medications to affect the Immune System

Medications

  • Prednisone or Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
  • Methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex)
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Rituximab (Rituxan)

Lifestyle Management

  • Understand the condition
  • Follow the treatment plan religiously
  • Choose a healthy diet
  • Get routine vaccinations
  • Exercise regularly almost everyday
  • Maintain a strong support system