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Vasculitis Signs and Symptoms

Vasculitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the blood vessels.  It is an autoimmune disorder, and can occur alone or alongside other autoimmune disorders.  Vasculitis may be systemic, or isolated to one location.  It can affect various parts of the body, including the kidneys, heart and brain.  There are several forms of vasculitis, including polyarteritis nodosa, Kawasaki disease, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and giant cell arteries.We have put together a list of signs and symptoms of vasculitis below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Vasculitis include:

  • Polyarteritis nodosa – affects the smaller blood vessels throughout the body, causing fever, weight loss, headache, fatigue, muscle aches abdominal pain and blood in the urine
  • Giant cell arteries – affects the larger arteries leading to the head, causing fever, anemia, weakness, poor appetite and joint pain
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis – affects the smaller arteries and veins in the respiratory tract and kidneys, causing joint pain, poor appetite, weight loss, kidney failure, and weakness.
  • Kawasaki Disease – causes swellingin the skin,redness of the lips,palms and mouth, swollenglands in the neck, and heart disease.

Vasculitis Diagnosis

Vasculitis is difficult to diagnose, and often requires a biopsy of the involved tissue.  X-rays, blood tests and other studies may point to a diagnosis of vasculitis, but only a biopsy can confirm with certainty a vasculitis diagnosis.  A skin biopsy is one of the least invasive ways of making a diagnosis.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Vasculitis

Vasculitis: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
Sheri Lyn Schwar
Vasculitis in Clinical Practice
Richard A. Watts

SYSTEMIC VASCULITIS: Diagnostic clues to this confusing array of diseases (Postgraduate Medicine)
MD Thomas M. Bush
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook On Vasculitis With Temporal Arteritis: Directory For The Internet Age
Icon Health Publications

Vasculitis Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Vasculitis Foundation

The Vasculitis Foundation supports and empowers patients through education, awareness and research.

  • The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center

The purpose of this Website is to provide information about vasculitis, to inform readers about the Vasculitis Center, and to let patients know where to find more information. This Website is written primarily for patients.

  • Vascular Disease Foundation

VDF has a number of additional educational resources available on Vasculitis.

  • WD

Information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this inflammation of the blood vessels.

  • Medicine Net . com

Comprehensive article on vasculitis, including patient discussions.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.