Vasculitis (literally “inflammation of vessels”) refers to a group of disorders that share clinical, laboratory, and pathophysiologic findings. The type of blood vessel affected and the site(s) of involvement are variable and influence clinical features of each specific subtype of vasculitis. Primary systemic vasculitides, in which the vasculitis is not secondary to some underlying disease, are often multisystem disorders. Recognizing the constellation of symptoms specific to various vasculitides may help save someone’s life.
Immunosuppressive agents are used to treat many vasculitic diseases. Although such approaches can be effective, the patient's long-term course can be influenced by organ damage from their initial presentation, disease relapses, and medication toxicity. Here, we will touch on some of the more commonly tested vasculitides.
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