Vasculitis: symptoms and treatment photo

The term «vasculitis» defines an inflammatory process, which under the action of various causes develops in the walls of blood vessels. Depending on the location and caliber of the affected vessels is disrupted the blood supply to the tissue or organ. The disease is quite common, in a significant number of cases, it develops due to genetic predisposition.

The mechanism of development

Vasculitis develops as a result of damage to the cells of the vessel walls, mainly of the connective-tissue stroma. Against this background, joins the inflammatory process, which is characterized by the production of immune system cells of biologically active compounds, called mediators of inflammation (prostaglandins). They cause the appearance of pain and swelling of the vessel wall (the accumulation of fluid in the intercellular substance). Due to edema and spasm of the smooth muscle reduces the lumen of the affected vessels, which is the main reason for the subsequent deterioration of blood supply to the area of the body or tissues.

Causes and types

The inflammatory process in the vessel walls is polietiologic disease. This means that damaged cells can cause a number of different reasons. Depending on the etiological (causal) factor is allocated a primary and secondary vasculitis. The exact cause of primary vasculitis remains unclear. Secondary inflammatory process develops under the influence of a number of reasons, on the basis of which there are several types of vasculitis:

  • Allergic – inflammation develops as a result of hypersensitivity of the immune system (sensitization) to specific chemical compounds or foreign proteins called allergens. In this case, the immune system produces biologically active compound histamine, which leads to specific inflammation of the blood vessels.
  • Infectious a variety of infectious processes in the body (often caused by viruses) lead to the fact that the immune system produces antibodies that damage the vascular walls.
  • Rheumatoid is the inflammation of blood vessels is the result of systemic autoimmune destruction of connective tissue in which the pathological process develops in joints, heart valves or the kidneys.
  • Toxic damage the cells of the vessel walls cause various poisons (toxins), mainly of organic origin.
  • Cryoglobulinemias in connection with individual peculiarities of the functional activity of the immune system in some people under the influence of cold the body produces specific immunoglobulins («cold antibody»), which leads spasm of blood vessels followed by inflammation.
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The exact cause and mechanism of development of primary vasculitis to date remain outstanding. There are several hypotheses indicating a genetic predisposition and part of autoimmune component in the development of the pathological process. Depending on the location of the lesion vessels and their caliber, also there are several types of this disease:

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  • Systemic necrotizing vasculitis is a primary disease, characterized by multiple vascular lesions in various organs, with subsequent necrosis (death) of tissue due to a sharp deterioration of blood circulation in them.
  • Cerebral vasculitis – inflammation affects the blood vessels of the brain, it is most often the result of an infectious process.
  • Vasculitis of the skin – vessels of the affected portions of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, this pathological process is also called urticaria, is clinically manifested as typical dot rash on body various locations.
  • Aortoarteritis is the inflammation mainly localized in the various arteries, which can lead to a significant deterioration of blood supply.

Also some isolated hemorrhagic vasculitis, which is characterized by bleeding of varying intensity because of damage to the wall of the inflamed vessel. Primary systemic inflammation depending on the clinical manifestations is divided into several separate diseases – Wegener’s granulomatosis, granulomatous arteritis, periarteritis nodosa syndrome Cerca-Strauss.


Vasculitis there is a considerable diversity of clinical manifestations, which are determined by the localization, type and caliber of the affected vessels. The typical clinical picture consists of several main symptoms of the pathological process:

  • General intoxication is usually accompanied by autoimmune, infectious and allergic vasculitis, with a headache, malaise, aching joints, muscles, body temperature rises to subfebrile (up to 37,5° C).
  • The appearance of petechial hemorrhages on the skin of different localization with urticarial vasculitis.
  • Neurological disorders with the localization of vasculitis in nervous system structures are characterized by decreased sensitivity of the skin, weakening of muscle strength of individual muscle groups. Surround neurologic abnormalities accompany the inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain (symptoms of hemorrhagic stroke).
  • Intense pain in skeletal muscles is accompanied periarteritis nodosa.
  • The development of renal failure with reduced urine volume and toxicity of the body characterizes the vascular lesions of the kidneys (usually bilateral).
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Some specific symptoms may indicate early pathological inflammatory process in the vessels – the defeat of the sinuses with a purulent and bloody discharge from the nose (Wegener’s granulomatosis), blurred vision, frequent fainting (aortoarteritis). To determine the causes, location and extent of injury of the vessels is an additional instrumental diagnostics.


Therapeutic measures in vasculitis primarily aimed at eliminating or reducing exposure to the causative factor. This mainly applies to anti-inflammatory agents (steroid and non-steroidal) and immunosuppressive drugs (drugs that reduce the activity of the immune system).

The fight against vasculitis folk remedies (uses of various medicinal plants) necessary therapeutic effect does not work, and only allows a little to reduce the severity of inflammation. Therefore, adequate treatment of vasculitis is only possible with a doctor.