What is Vasculitis

Vasculitis is the inflammation of the blood vessels. When the blood vessels become inflamed, then the organs which are supplied with those blood vessels will stop functioning properly and will cause problems. Vasulitis can range from mild to severe. Mild vasculitis does not need any treatment and it heals on its own. But if the inflammation is severe then the patient might have to be hospitalized. It can be life threatening too. It is mostly connected with lupus. If the condition is worse, then immediate and intensive treatment is very important. Some symptoms which are found in almost every kind of vasculitis are fever, swelling and fatigue. There are sub types of vasculitis:

  • Classic Polyarteritis Nadosa: it usually infects kidneys and internal organs but sometimes, every organ in the body gets infected.
  • Allergic angiitis and granulomatosis (Churg-Strauss Syndrome): it infects lungs and causes severe asthma. This disease is rare.
  • Hypersensitivity vasculitis: mostly all the organs are involved in it but skin can be a major part of the body which gets infected in this disease.
  • Wegener’s Granulomatosis: it can cause nose inflammation causing sinus, nose blocking and inflammation the ear too. Patients may also feel shortness of breath, chest pain etc. It needs immediate medical consultation.
  • Giant Cell Arteritis: it infects arteries of the body. The exact cause of this disease is not known. Most of the young females get infected to this inflammation.
  • Thromboangiitis obliterans or Buerger’s Disease: it affects the arteries of the hands and feet. It caused due to smoking and the only solution to this problem is to quit smoking.
  • Behçet’s disease: it causes genital ulcers and eye inflammation.
  • Erythema nodosum: it causes red nodular lesion on the lower legs. The causes behind it can be tuberculosis etc.

The treatment of vasculitis is very important as it is a serious disease if not handled properly. The treatment depends on factors like where the inflammation is?
How severe and serious the inflammation is?
How many organs are infected? And
How many blood vessels are involved?

Vasculitis can be diagnosed using x-rays and blood tests. Doctor will ask you your entire medical history and may perform a physical exam. There can be many more other tests too but it depends individual to individual and the type of vasculitis he is suffering from. It is very important to diagnose vasculitis at a right time; otherwise it can worsen the situation which will not be good for the health. Once diagnosed properly, patient should start getting the treatment immediately without any time span. It can be treated with corticosteroids. The cause of vasculitis is unknown and it is not possible to prevent it.