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Vasculitis is a disease characterized by swelling of blood vessels that causes them to thicken, narrow, weaken, or scar.
Primary vasculitis occurs without any known cause and can result in a variety of other diseases, such as:
Secondary vasculitis occurs from medication, or as a result of another disease, such as:
Our holistic approach at the UPMC Vasculitis Center provides patients with the proper diagnosis and treatment options that are tailored to each patient's specific needs.
It's important to be proactive in treating and managing vasculitis, since early treatment may lead to a more positive outcome.
The UPMC Vasculitis Center offers a holistic approach to diagnosing vasculitis. Our physicians check for various symptoms related to vasculitis and perform several tests to ensure a correct diagnosis.
The signs and symptoms of vasculitis depend on which blood vessels are involved.
With any type of vasculitis, people generally don't feel well, and may experience:
Specific organ systems of the body affected by vasculitis may cause the following signs or symptoms:
It's important to remember that each of the signs and symptoms above are not exclusive to vasculitis and can be seen in many other conditions.
In addition to a physical exam, doctors may order the following tests to help make the diagnosis of vasculitis:
The doctors at the UPMC Vasculitis Center use specific medications to treat vasculitis.
Individualized treatment depends on:
The University of Pittsburgh/UPMC is one of only nine academic institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named a "Vasculitis Center" by the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC), a member of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network that is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The VCRC is an organization of premier academic medical centers, whose members include:
The VCRC is also an interface between patient support organizations and clinical and translational research that is dedicated to studying different forms of vasculitis with the hope of improving the care of patients with vasculitis.