Vasculitis Overview


Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels (vascular = blood vessels, itis = inflammation).  Vasculitis can occur as a main disease or as a complication of another disease.  Vasculitis may happen as the result of an infection, a medicine, or another disease or condition. Vasculitis can affect any blood vessel: arteries, veins and capillaries.   Arteries deliver blood from the heart to organs. Veins return blood back to the heart. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that connect small arteries and veins.  When a blood vessel becomes inflamed the vessel can:

  • Narrow, making it more difficult for blood to get through
  • Close off completely so that blood cannot pass through
  • Stretch and weaken the wall of the vessel causing collapse or bursting.
  • Presentation