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Vasculitis describes the inflammation of blood vessels in your body. This condition can affect your arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body, or your veins, which return nutrient-depleted blood to your heart.
There are many types of vasculitis, and they are grouped by the type of blood vessels impacted. The major categories are:
Vasculitis can occur suddenly and go away quickly with treatment. However, if treatment is ineffective, the condition can become chronic, meaning that it persists over a period of time. In extreme cases, vasculitis can be life threatening.
At Dignity Health Central California, our knowledgeable cardiovascular specialists provide accurate diagnoses and advanced treatment. Find a Doctor today to get the care you need for vasculitis in Central California.
Vasculitis can come on suddenly and cause severe symptoms, or develop over a period of time with mild effects.
The type and severity of vasculitis symptoms you experience depend on where the inflammation occurs in your body. If vasculitis affects the blood vessels supplying your joints, for example, you may experience aches and pain. Inflammation of the blood vessels in your brain can cause headaches or paralysis.
A specific type of the disorder, called systemic vasculitis, can affect your entire circulatory system. Systemic vasculitis can cause a fever. You may also feel tired, sluggish, or lose your appetite.
Vasculitis is the result of your immune system attacking your body’s own circulatory system. Various causes can trigger this response, including infections, underlying immune disorders, reactions to medication, and certain types of cancer.
The goal of treatment is to prevent or stop the immune system from attacking your blood vessels and reduce inflammation. The most effective and commonly used treatment is medication. Surgery is rarely used. However, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention for certain complications of vasculitis, such as an aneurysm (bulged artery), kidney failure, or damaged heart muscle.
Our heart care experts provide assistance for many cardiovascular concerns, from emergency heart attack treatment, to cardiac and vascular diagnostics and surgery. Learn more about the cardiovascular services we provide in our Central California communities: