What is it?

Arteritis (Vasculitis, Angiitis) is inflammation of the blood vessels called arteries. The inflammation causes narrowing of the blood vessels and disruption of blood flow to the tissues they supply. The cause of inflammation is an abnormal activity of the immune system, for a reason not fully understood.
In the various diseases characterized by vasculitis, the affected blood vessels are of different sizes and supply different tissues, so there is a wide range of possible symptoms. Involved body systems can be the skin, lungs, nerves, kidneys, digestive system, joints or the heart.

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Signs & symptoms

Common symptoms of vasculitis are low fever, fatigue, malaise and weight loss. Possible signs, depending on the type of vasculitis and the characteristics of the disease of which it is a part, are skin rash, shortness of breath, appearance of blood in the urine, joint and muscle pain, abdominal pain and more.


Diagnosis process begins with a doctor's examination who will ask about the medical history and perform a physical exam. Further diagnostic tests may include:
- Blood and urine tests. These tests will look for signs of inflammation and its possible triggers.
- Imaging of the blood vessels. The purpose of imaging is to identify the blood vessels and tissues that are affected by vasculitis. Imaging can be performed by several methods, such as MRI, CT or PET-CT, or by an invasive test called angiography (a test in which a tube called catheter is inserted into a blood vessel that need to be examined).
- Biopsy. This is a procedure in which a small tissue sample is removed and examined for signs of vasculitis.


Treatment for vasculitis focuses on reducing the inflammatory process in the blood vessels and treating the disease that caused the vasculitis, if detected. The medication used are usually steroids and anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs of various types.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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