Vasculitis - Causes

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What causes vasculitis, and what are examples of diseases with vasculitis?

The actual cause of these vasculitis diseases is usually not known. However, immune system abnormality and inflammation of blood vessels are common features. Each form of vasculitis has its own characteristic pattern of symptoms, much of which depends on what particular organs are affected.

Examples of vasculitis include:

  • Kawasaki disease,
  • Behçet's disease,
  • polyarteritis nodosa,
  • Wegener's granulomatosis,
  • Cryoglobulinemia,
  • Takayasu's arteritis,
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome,
  • Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis), and
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura.

Vasculitis can also accompany:

  • Infections (such as hepatitis B),
  • Exposure to chemicals (such as amphetamines and cocaine),
  • Medications,
  • Cancers (such as lymphomas and multiple myeloma), and
  • Rheumatic diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus).
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See what others are saying

Comment from: Ms S, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I have had a rash on my legs which burns all the time, acute shortness of breath and cough. My doctor thinks I may be having vasculitis because of a reaction to Aprovel (irbesartan).

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