Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center
Rheumatology & Internal Medicine located in Pleasanton, CA & Turlock, CA
Vasculitis refers to a group of rare diseases that cause inflammation of your blood vessels. Though symptoms vary significantly, some types of vasculitis are life-threatening. Board-certified rheumatologist Iraj Sabahi, MD, and the team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center, with offices in Pleasanton and Turlock, California, offer advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for vasculitis to reduce the inflammation and risk of health complications. To schedule a consultation, call the office or use the online booking tool.
What is vasculitis?
Vasculitis is a general medical term used to describe inflammation of the blood vessels, which includes the arteries, capillaries, and veins. There are many types of vasculitis, though most are very rare.
Researchers believe that vasculitis is an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your blood vessels, resulting in inflammation. However, the inflammation may also be caused by a reaction to a drug or from a chronic infection such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
You may also be at risk of developing vasculitis if you have other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
What are vasculitis symptoms?
Vasculitis symptoms vary significantly, ranging from mild to life-threatening. In some instances, you may not experience any symptoms at all.
Symptoms of vasculitis may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or weakness in your hands or feet
- Red spots on the skin
- Skin ulcers
Inflammation in your blood vessels affects blood flow throughout your body and may affect any organ system, including the skin, lungs, heart, or kidneys. Early detection and treatment may help prevent long-term blood vessel and organ damage.
How is vasculitis diagnosed?
The experienced team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center perform a comprehensive exam to diagnose vasculitis. During your exam, the team asks detailed questions about your symptoms and medical history and then conducts a physical exam. Diagnostic tests are also performed, which may include blood tests, a biopsy, or an angiography (X-ray to check for blood vessel abnormalities).
Based on the data collected from your exam, the team can diagnose your vasculitis and your vasculitis type.
How is vasculitis treated?
Treatment for vasculitis focuses on stopping the inflammation for the prevention of further blood vessel and organ damage. The experts at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center develop individualized treatment plans based on the severity of your inflammation. Your treatment plan may include steroids or immune-suppressing drugs.
For severe cases of vasculitis, the team may recommend rituximab, a biologic agent that may prevent further blood vessel damage by targeting the part of your immune system, causing the inflammation. The team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center gives the biologic agent intravenously as part of their in-office infusions program.
To schedule an evaluation with the autoimmune disease experts, contact Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center by phone or online today.