Vasculitis refers to a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the blood vessels.
At the UPMC Division of Vascular Surgery, we collaborate with experts from many disciplines to diagnose and treat vasculitis. Specialists we work with include joint and muscle, infectious disease, skin, lung, kidney, nervous system, heart, eye, and urinary tract experts.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Vasculitis is a group of conditions that causes inflammation in the blood vessels.
It can be:
Vasculitis is complex and can range from mild to life threatening.
It may happen once in a person’s life and never recur. In some cases, vasculitis can recur after successful treatment.
Some people need lifelong treatment for vasculitis.
Vasculitis happens when your immune system attacks your blood vessels by mistake.
While doctors don't know exactly why this happens, some risk factors can include:
Vasculitis can damage blood vessels, causing them to become thick, weak, narrow, or scarred. This can limit blood flow, keeping your organs and tissues from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need.
Complications from vasculitis can include:
There are many types of vasculitis.
Symptoms of vasculitis can vary greatly, but often include:
Depending on what organs or body systems it affects, other vasculitis symptoms can include:
To diagnose vasculitis, your UPMC vascular surgeon will ask about your medical history and symptoms.
He or she will perform a physical exam and may use the following tests to confirm your diagnosis:
The main goal of vasculitis treatment is to reduce and control the inflammation in your blood vessels.
Treatment options include:
In some cases, your UPMC vascular surgeon may successfully treat your vasculitis, but then it returns.
Some people need ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives.
Vasculitis can require short-term or lifelong treatment, depending on your condition and symptoms.
Some people who need ongoing treatment can experience:
To help manage your vasculitis: