- Small vessel – usually involves the skin such as Henoch-Schönlein Purpura
- Small artery – includes Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), Churg-Strauss syndrome
- Medium artery – includes Polyarteritis Nodosa, Kawasaki disease
- Large artery – includes Takayasu’s arteritis
What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
Skin (most common symptom)
Major organs of the body
How is vasculitis diagnosed?
- Blood tests to show if the blood vessels are inflamed. They can be an indicator of inflammation in the body and to help monitor other organ function/damage
- Urine tests to look for any kidney disease
- X-rays and scans to confirm any organ or bone problems
- Biopsies (small samples of tissue) from the skin/muscle or kidneys to confirm their involvement
- Angiogram to show the arteries up around major organs, such as the heart and look for changes, by injecting a dye into them
What causes vasculitis?
How is vasculitis treated?
|Medication||How is it given||Side effects|
|Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and dampens down the immune system||High doses of methylprednisolone given via a drip in ‘pulses’ or blocks of treatment and/or as prednisolone tablets given daily||
|Methotrexate is a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug that reduces symptoms and inflammation||Orally by tablet/syrup or by subcutaneous injection given weekly||
|Cyclophosphamide dampens down the immune system||By drip in hospital from fortnightly to three-monthly||
|Mycophenolate Mofetil (MMF) dampens down the immune system||Orally twice a day on an empty stomach
Doses will be increased slowly
|Azathioprine is used to maintain improvement||Orally once daily||
There are newer, even more powerful medicines under trial, which, if needed, will be fully explained to you.