Vasculitis is an inflammation of your blood vessels. Vasculitis causes changes in the walls of your blood vessels, including thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring.

There are many types of vasculitis. Some forms last only a short time (acute) while others are long lasting (chronic). Vasculitis, which is also known as angiitis and arteritis, can be so severe that the tissues and organs supplied by the affected vessels don't get enough blood. This shortage of blood can result in organ and tissue damage, even death.

Vasculitis can affect anyone, though some types of vasculitis are more common among certain groups. Some forms of vasculitis improve on their own, but others require treatment — often including taking medications for an extended period of time.

Oct. 08, 2011

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