Vasculitis

What is Vasculitis?

The vasculitides are a heterogeneous group of uncommon diseases characterized by inflammatory cell infiltration and necrosis of blood – vessel walls. Systemic necrotizing vasculitis can be rapidly life – threatening, so early accurate diagnosis and treatment is vital.

Vasculitis may be primary or secondary to established connective tissue disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis), infection or malignancy. The severity of vasculitis is related to the size and site of the vessels affected. Classification is based on vessel size and determines the treatment approach.


What are the symptoms of Vasculitis?

Systemic

  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Myalgia
  • Arthralgia

Skin

  • Purpura (palpable)
  • Ulceration
  • Infarction

Gastrointestinal

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea

Respiratory

  • Cough
  • Wheeze
  • Haemoptysis
  • Dyspnoea

Ear, nose and throat

  • Epistaxis
  • Crusting
  • Sinusitis
  • Deafness

Cardiac

  • Chest pain

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