Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Vasculitis is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases that
feature inflammation of the
blood vessels. The blood vessels of the
body are referred to as the vascular system. The
blood vessels are comprised of arteries that pass oxygen-rich blood to the
tissues of the body and veins that return oxygen-depleted blood from the
tissues to the lungs for oxygen. Vasculitis is characterized by
inflammation in and damage to the walls of various blood vessels.
Each of the vasculitis diseases is defined by certain patterns of distribution of
blood vessel involvement, particular organ involvement, and laboratory test abnormalities.
As a group, these diseases are referred to as vasculitides.
The word vasculitis is derived from the Latin
"vasculum", vessel + "- itis", inflammation. Another term for vasculitis is
angiitis. When arteries are the inflamed blood vessels, the condition is also referred to as arteritis. When the veins are inflamed, it is referred to as venulitis.
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.