DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Vasculitis is an inflammation of your blood vessels. It causes changes in the walls of blood vessels, including thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring. These changes restrict blood flow, resulting in organ and tissue damage.
There are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare. Vasculitis might affect just one organ, such as your skin, or it may involve several. The condition can be short term (acute) or long lasting (chronic).
Vasculitis can affect anyone, though some types are more common among certain groups. Depending on the type you have, you may improve without treatment. Or you will need medications to control the inflammation and prevent flare-ups.
Vasculitis is also known as angiitis and arteritis.
Oct. 08, 2014
- What is vasculitis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vas/. Accessed July 16, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed July 16, 2014.
- Gwathmey KG, et al. Vasculitic neuropathies. Lancet Neurology. 2014;13:67.
- Guillevin L. Infections in vasculitis. Best Practice & Research in Clinical Rheumatology. 2013;27:19.
- Merkel PA. Overview of the management of vasculitis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 17, 2014.
- Tarzi R, et al. Small vessel vasculitides. Medicine. 2014;42:138.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 17, 2014.
- Zand L, et al. Treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis: New therapies and a look at old entities. Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. 2014;21:182.
- Murphy JG, et al., eds. Mayo Clinic Cardiology: Concise Textbook. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press; 2013.
- Pipitone N, et al. Role of imaging in the diagnosis of large and medium‐sized vessel vasculitis. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2013;39:593.
- Warrington KJ, et al. A primer on vasculitis. Minnesota Medicine. 2013;96:36.
- Weyand CM, et al. Giant-cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;371:50.
- Dammacco F, et al. Therapy for hepatitis C virus-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;369:1035.
- Grayson PC, et al. New features of disease after diagnosis in 6 forms of systemic vasculitis. Journal of Rheumatology. 2013;40:1905.
- Specks U, et al. Efficacy of remission-induction regimens for ANCA-associated vasculitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013;369:417.