Vasculitis | Symptoms | MedStar Health

Treating and preventing relapse of inflamed blood vessels

Vasculitis refers to inflammation that can damage the walls of your blood vessels, causing them to become weak, narrow, or scarred. This can reduce or block blood flow to an area of the body. Vasculitis also can lead to the formation of an aneurysm, which, if untreated, can rupture and cause internal bleeding.

Vasculitis can be a recurring condition that may require treatment to prevent future flare-ups.

There are many types of vasculitis, and they can affect one organ or area of the body or involve several. Some types of vasculitis include Buerger’s disease, Kawasaki disease, and Takayasu’s arteritis.

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

Vasculitis symptoms vary widely depending on the type and location of the inflammation, but they may include:

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Joint or stomach pain

  • Numbness or weakness

  • Rash


Diagnosing vasculitis is the first step to developing a treatment plan. Our specialists may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures.

Angiogram (Angiography)

An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.

Arterial Duplex Ultrasound for arms and legs

Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology used to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Pulse Volume Recording

Pulse volume recording tests are used to evaluate blood flow through the arteries in your arms or legs.


Treatment for vasculitis will depend on the veins and organs affected. Your doctor may recommend medication or more advanced treatments.

Venous Disease Treatments

Venous disease treatment may include medications, minimally invasive and surgical procedures to improve blood flow and circulation.

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