Vasculitis is a group of diseases – some acute and some chronic – that are characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels. The cause of many forms of vasculitis is unknown, and while there is no cure for the disease, early diagnosis and vasculitis treatment can help to mitigate symptoms and slow the disease's progression. Vasculitis treatment varies, depending on which blood vessels and organ systems are involved. Symptoms of vasculitis may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, numbness in extremities and loss of appetite.
As vasculitis is one of the causes of arthritis, vasculitis treatment may be a significant part of caring for patients with a variety of arthritic diseases. For patients seeking vasculitis treatment from one of the nation's leading providers, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston provides world-class care.
The Center for Arthritis and Joint Diseases at BWH is one of the country's leading providers of clinical treatment and research related to the more than 100 causes of arthritis. The Center is part of the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, which has one of the largest funding bases and investigative team in the nation. The Center has helped to make significant advances in the treatment of arthritis and other joint diseases, and has helped earn BWH the reputation as one of the country's top providers of rheumatology medicine.
Physicians at the Center provide vasculitis treatment for all forms of the disease, including Behcet's disease, polyarteritis nodosa, Kawasaki disease, cryoglobulinemia, Churg-Strauss syndrome, giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis), Takayasu's arteritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener's granulomatosis), and Henoch-Schönlein purpura. Treatment may also be needed for underlying diseases that sometimes cause vasculitis, including rheumatoid arthritis treatment or lupus treatment. The Center has a number of clinics including the Fast Track Clinic for Giant Cell Arteritis providing rapid evaluation for patients with suspected giant cell arteritis by a rheumatologist on our team within one business day of a physician referral.
Depending on the severity of the illness and the organs involved, vasculitis treatment at BWH may include steroids such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Medrol), which can help control inflammation for many kinds of vasculitis. Immunosuppressants – drugs that kill immune system cells causing inflammation – may also be used in more severe cases of vasculitis.
In addition to vasculitis treatment, physicians at the BWH Arthritis and Joint Disease Center treat a wide range of diseases and conditions that include:
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