SYSTEMIC VASCULITIS AKA VASCULITIS
What is Vasculitis?
Vasculitis occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly starts to attack your blood vessels resulting in significant inflammation. These are rare but very serious diseases and the manifestation of each form of Vasculitis is largely due to the size and distribution of the artery involved.
What are the symptoms of Vasculitis?
The symptoms of different forms of Vasculitis are extremely varied but typically share the findings of fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, shortness of breath or cough with bloody Sputum, joint pain or swelling, skin rashes. nerve problems such as numbness or weakness.
How are different types of Vasculitis diagnosed?
The most important part of diagnosing a Vasculitis involves getting a detailed history. A thorough physical exam is also important. After this, multiple blood tests and advanced imaging studies will need to be performed to support the clinical suspicion for these diseases and rule out conditions that can mimic these serious diseases. A biopsy of the affected vessels is essential to the accurate diagnosis of many types of Vasculitis.
How is Vasculitis treated?
There are many different treatments for these diseases, but most involve the use of high dose steroids such as Prednisone or IV Methylprednisolone to quickly decrease inflammation as well as the use of multiple steroid sparing medications such as oral DMARDs and other infusion medications like Biologics that are approved for the management of different types of Vasculitis.