Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Vasculitis is a word used to describe various diseases that involve inflammation of the blood vessels. The blood vessel system is made up of various sizes of blood vessels, arteries (which carry blood away from the heart), veins (which carry blood back to the heart) and capillaries (tiny blood vessels) through which the blood travels to all tissues and organs.

Vasculitis is rare. In every 100,000 people in UK, only 5 will develop vasculitis each year - that about 3,000 people in all.

There are many types of vasculitis, affecting different sizes of blood vessel and different parts of the body. The different kinds of vasculitis are defined in different ways. For example, from the size of the affected blood vessels or the way they show up most often.

Classification of vasculitis:

Large-sized vessels:

    Giant cell arteritis.

  • Takayasu's arteritis.

Medium-sized vessels:

    Polyarteritis nodosa.

  • Kawasaki disease.

Small-sized vessels:

    Wegener's granulomatosis.

  • Microscopic polyangiitis.

When a small blood vessel becomes inflamed, it can break and bleed into the surrounding tissue. This causes small red or purple dots on the skin. If a larger blood vessel becomes inflamed, it may swell to produce a lump that you feel under the skin. The inside of the blood vessel may also narrow, which reduces the amount of blood able to flow through it or it may become blocked by a blood clot. If the blood flow through the blood vessels is reduced or stops, the tissue may begin to die. On rare occasions, vasculitis may cause the wall of a blood vessel to weaken and develop a bulge (aneurysm) that can rupture and bleed.

Some types of vasculitis affect predominantly the skin and others can affect internal organs with more serious complications. Those mainly affecting the skin include conditions such as: urticarial vasculitis; leukocytoclastic vasculitis; panniculitis which involves the fat tissue deep to the skin and pityriasis lichenoides. These are relatively rare disorders and can be associated with some systemic (affecting the whole body) symptoms. Children with these skin conditions are usually referred to a skin specialist (dermatologist). Often a skin biopsy is needed to help confirm the diagnosis. Treatment varies according to the diagnosis and any associated medical problem, but for those with mainly skin vasculitis the outlook is usually good.

The cause of vasculitis symptoms is not yet known, but the abnormality in immune system and inflammation of the blood vessel is common features of this disease. There are different types of vasculitis and this disease can affect people whether young or old. The treatment that can be administered for vasculitis symptoms sufferers depends upon the severity of the disease and the person's health condition.

The mist common cause of vasculitis symptoms are viruses, food additives can also vasculitis, Henoch-Sch


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