Vasculitis refers to a group of uncommon diseases that are all characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels. Some types of vasculitis are acute (short-term), while others are chronic (long-term). There is currently no cure for vasculitis, but early diagnosis and treatment are critical for helping to ease symptoms and hinder the progression of the disease.
Types of vasculitis include:
All of our rheumatologists are trained and experienced in the treatment of the vasculitic disorders. Other sub-specialists are often involved in the care of patients with vasculitis, depending on the type.
Inflammation within blood vessels (vasculitis) can occur in large blood vessels, medium sized blood vessels, or small blood vessels (for example capillaries).
In some cases, vasculitis occurs due to an underlying condition, which is referred to as secondary vasculitis. Secondary vasculitis can be caused by:
Symptoms of vasculitis vary according to which blood vessels and organ systems are affected. Symptoms that many people with vasculitis experience include:
To diagnose vasculitis, your doctor typically will begin by going through your medical history and conducting a thorough physical exam. Tests and procedures that may be used for diagnosing vasculitis include:
Treatment for vasculitis depends on the severity of the illness and the organs involved. Vasculitis treatment options include the use of the following types of medications:
To learn more about our services or to make an appointment with a Brigham and Women’s Hospital rheumatologist, contact one of our trained coordinators at 1-800-294-9999 to get connected with the best doctor for your needs.
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