Arteritis and vasculitis

Arteritis and vasculitis

Description disease

Vasculitis is a general term for inflammation of blood vessels. In the walls of the blood vessels, this disease causes a variety of pathological changes, including their thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring. This term encompasses many of these kinds of inflammations differing in their manifestations, causes and hazards. Generally for them it can be said to exist in either an acute or chronic form and, in its ultimately can cause damage to vital internal organs, which because of damage to the blood vessels do not receive enough blood effectively and hence oxygen and nutrients. May be affected by virtually anyone; Treatment is complicated but fortunately not always entirely necessary.

Risk factors

For detection of risk factors it is necessary to realize a mechanism which arises vasculitis. It is a process in which the body attacks its own structure, in this case, the blood vessels, and arteries and veins of various sizes. It is not always entirely clear why this is happening, the reasons vary from case to case, but simply we can say that it is often to blame certain immune system disorders,allergic reactions, infections and certain cancers. After the attack the body’s own immune system to develop inflammation in blood vessels, and processes associated with the development and healing of the inflammation can cause thickening and change the character of the vessel walls. Thickening causes a narrowing of the vessel lumen, thereby impedes blood flow that gradually becomes insufficient for the area. Tissue lacks enough oxygen and nutrients. In other cases, it can cause blood clots that clog blood vessel and experiencing the same disabilities.

In other cases the inflammatory process on the contrary weakens the vessel wall, the under pressure applied arches to form the so-called aneurysm, which by their impending rupture endanger the patient’s life.

Vasculitis, according to their causes can be divided into primary and secondary. Primary vasculitis usually arise from unknown causes, its origins can be traced back. In addition, secondary vasculitis primes as accompaniment to some other disease, usually of a more serious nature. It may be a simple allergic reaction, usually hypersensitivity to drugs, but also other substances. Image vasculitis can develop even during and after for infection, such as hepatitis B and C. As also with a number of other diseases are at increased risk in people with impaired immune system, with its lack of function, or conversely its excessive activity of such is the case in autoimmune diseases.

The most serious risk factor for cancer of the blood and lymph, leukemias, lymphomas and others.

prevention of vasculitis

Prevention of vasculitis is, of course, as with most diseases adherence to healthy lifestyle and good follow-up treatment of various other diseases, because as already mentioned, you can exercise significant in the development of blood vessel inflammation.

Signs and symptoms of vasculitis

Vasculitis is of course a large amount, and therefore the symptoms of the individual types varyconsiderably even within unity type variable. Generally, the symptoms depend on the type of affected blood vessels and body that she supplied. For most people in most forms of vasculitis experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and thus weight loss, pain in joints and muscles, weakness or numbness of body parts.

Buerger’s disease or thrombangiitis obliterans is a disease primarily been related to cigarette smoking. It causes inflammation and blockage of blood vessels of the limbs. It manifests as pain in the hands and arms, feet and legs, later creating pimples to large ulcers in the hands and feet.

Kawasaki disease affects mainly children under five years of age and has a typical signs of vasculitis, such as skin redness, fever and somewhat substandard and just for this characteristic symptom of vasculitis, which is inflammation of the eye.

Polyarteritis nodosa affects mainly medium-sized blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the skin, kidneys, muscles, intestines, heart and nervous system. Eye can see tiny flare-like rash called. Purpura, skin defects are manifested as small and larger ulcers, can occur even kidney problems and patients may experience muscle weakness and abdominal pain.

Hypersensitivity vasculitis as is evident from the title due hpersenzitivitou, a hypersensitivity of the organism to certain stimuli, thus works on a similar or the same principle as allergies. Most of these hypersensitivity to the drug or substance released during attack infections. The body appears as tiny red spots on the skin.

Microscopic polyangitida mainly affects the smaller caliber vessels in the skin, lungs and kidneys.In these organs leads to pathological changes leading to disturbances of their functions. The skin produces extensive lesions, patients lose weight, it was associated with fever and glomerulonephritis hazardous to nerve damage.

Takayasu arthritis affects the largest artery of the body, including the aortic, carotid or further renal artery. Are at particular risk younger women who experience weakness and pain in the hands, declining or extinct pulse, headaches and vision problems.

Behcet’s syndrome affects both arteries and veins. The skin appear various lesions, including those similar to acne, mucous membranes of the mouth and genital area generates ulcers and may even cause eye inflammation. Mainly affects younger people in their twenties.

Giant arthritis is an inflammation of arteries in the head, especially at the temples. Precisely because of this specific location disability speeches here, and headache, hypersensitivity scalp, jaw pain when chewing, problems with vision, rozmazené, blurred vision and in severe cases may even cause blindness.

Henoch- Schonlein purpura is a disease affecting mainly children, but the exception is not the case of adults. It is caused by inflammation of blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines and kidneys. So manifested as abdominal pain, blood in urine, pain in joints, redness (purpura) in the buttocks, legs and feet.

Cryoglobulinemia occurs in connection with infection hepatitis C. The leg is again created purpura, furthermore associates arthritis, damage to the nervous system and general weakness.

Wegener’s granulomatosis causes inflammation of blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys. It is a disease caused by problems with a portion of white blood cells, called neutrophilic granulocytes. Typical symptoms are difficulty breathing, chronic reap the sinuses as well as frequent nosebleeds (epistaxis called), frequent middle ear infections, glomerulonephritis and lung damage.


When observing some of the symptoms, the patient should first visit your GP, who may then decide to send it to a specialist. The specialist may be different, depending on the location in which the symptoms occur most, may be a neurologist, rheumatologist, dermatologist, pulmonary doctor,urologist, cardiologist and others.

After taking medical history, which includes a description of symptoms, ongoing or past treatments and other, mostly doctor performs classical physical examination. Farther may accede to blood collection, which focuses mainly on sedimentation rate, blood counts frequently and levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), and anti-neutrophilic granulocytes (typical of Wegener’s granulomatosis). Urinalysis is also necessary, as in many vasculitis changes occur in theurine composition (because of renal arteries) or may even be present in blood. Unfavorable is thepresence of protein in the urine.

The doctor may also do an angiogram, a radiograph of the patient’s blood vessels. Into a blood vessel is introduced a thin catheter, which is injected into a blood vessel contrast medium, which is then shown on the radiograph. Other imaging methods include ultrasound, a central computerized tomography and magnetic resonance. From the thus obtained images can then be assessed disability especially larger vessels.

Finally, the doctor may do a biopsy of the damaged vessel. It is a surgical procedure in which the removed piece of tissue vessels, which may then further investigate microscopically andimmunohistochemically in the laboratory.


Due to the volume type of vasculitis it is clear that the treatment will not be the same for all.Treating physician selects according to the cause of the disease, in some happy cases even treatment is not necessary and the disease itself is adjusted with time.

However, in most cases, drugs are needed, and the drugs of the two groups. First the syntheticcorticosteroids, which are used for their excellent anti-inflammatory effect. Used primarilyprednisone or methylprednisolone. The problem is the use of corticosteroids but a large number of side effects, such as increased weight, gastrointestinal problems, hypertension and heart damage, bone decalcification, diabetes, skin changes (formation of striae and pajizévek- overall thinning of the skin). After stopping often leads to a significant exacerbation of the disease being treated (the so-called rebound phenomenon). Therefore, it accesses the first administration of higher doses to cope with the worst phase of the disease and then reduce to the lowest possible dose.

More severe forms of vasculitis may require treatment with drugs that affect the immune system directly. , We include immunosuppressants such as cyclophosphamide or azathioprine, which destroy the cells of the immune system.

What can I do for themselves

It is important mainly come to the doctor on time and not wait for problems to develop strongly. In the early capture of damage prognosis is very good, so it pays not to delay in seeing a doctor.During treatment can occur unpleasant side effects of drugs, but which of course otherwise healthy organism better tolerated. Therefore, it is necessary that the patient follows the principles of a healthy lifestyle, well-ate (lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, while avoiding alcohol, salt and sugar) and practiced several times a week.


Complications and their character revolve around on where on the body was to develop vasculitis.Generally it can be said that there are two complications, and it is internal organ damage due to lack of oxygen and nutrients to damaged arteries or insufficient blood outlet damaged veins.

The second and unfortunately very common complications are recurrent attacks of vasculitisdespite a successful first borreliosis disease. Often you can just repeat the treatment and the patient is cured again, but unfortunately sometimes they fail vasculitis never heal and the patient must take medication all his life and be monitored by your doctor.

Other names: phlebitis ,, vascular inflammation, inflammation of the arteries

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