Vasculitis is inflammation of the blood vessels. This inflammation can lead to a poor blood supply and can affect the nerves, kidneys, lungs and skin. It can be severe and life threatening or merely cause an annoying skin rash.
An early diagnosis is beneficial to prevent further damage to the affected organ or tissue. A biopsy in the most common procedure, coupled with an X Ray and blood tests including ANA, CRP and ESR. The ANCR (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies) blood test can be very useful to detect Churg-Strauss and Wegener’s granulomatosis.
Here is what we know about vasculitis
The symptoms of disease depend very much on where in the body the inflamed blood vessels are, if in the lungs the person may experience back pain and have difficulty breathing.
It can affect both males and females, at any age.
Kawasaki vasculitis affects children only and is extremely rare.
A rheumatologist is the specialist who treats a person with vasculitis.
There are 20 different types and they differ by the organ they affect.
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can cause vasculitis, as can some other chronic conditions.
It is an overlap condition of Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis and Sjőgren’s syndrome. Rheumatoid vasculitis can be a complication for people who have suffered severe from RA for many years.
Episodes can either be one off or come and go over many years.