Vasculitis Specialist

Rheumatology of Central Indiana

Rheumatology located in Muncie, IN & Richmond, IN

Vasculitis refers to a group of rare diseases that cause blood vessel inflammation. Though symptoms vary, certain types of vasculitis may cause serious damage that may lead to disability or death. Rheumatology of Central Indiana, with offices in Muncie, Richmond, New Castle, Greensburg, Shelbyville, and Marion, Indiana, is a patient-centered practice that specializes in diagnosing and treating vasculitis. To schedule a consultation, call the office nearest you or book online today.

Vasculitis Q & A

What is vasculitis?

Vasculitis means inflammation of your blood vessels. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your blood vessels, causing inflammation and damage. Vasculitis may affect any of your blood vessels, including your arteries, veins, or capillaries.

There are many types of vasculitis that cause a wide range of symptoms that vary in severity and duration. 

Though researchers are still investigating what causes vasculitis, it may develop from a combination of genetics and environmental factors. It affects people of all ages.

What are the types of vasculitis?

About 20 disorders are classified as types of vasculitis. They all cause blood vessel inflammation, but they affect different blood vessels and organs and respond better to different treatments.

Types of vasculitis include:

  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Aortitis in Cogan’s syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Polyangiitis of the central nervous system
  • Behcet’s disease
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Rheumatoid vasculitis is a type of vasculitis that occurs in people with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disorder.

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

The symptoms of vasculitis vary and depend on the site of the inflammation and the other organs involved. Symptoms may include:

  • Red spots on the skin
  • Skin ulcers
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Numbness or weakness in the hands or feet

Some types of vasculitis don’t cause symptoms but may still result in serious damage to your body. 

How is vasculitis diagnosed?

Rheumatology of Central Indiana combines medical expertise with cutting-edge technology to diagnose vasculitis. Your provider may suspect blood vessel inflammation after completing a comprehensive history and physical.

To confirm a diagnosis, your provider may run bloodwork, perform an angiography (X-ray of your blood vessels), or take a biopsy of the inflamed tissue. 

How is vasculitis treated?

Your medical expert at Rheumatology of Central Indiana customizes your vasculitis treatment plan based on type, severity of symptoms, overall health, and preferences. However, steroids are the primary treatment for vasculitis.

Your provider may also prescribe immunosuppressants or medications used to treat autoimmune disorders, such as rituximab. 

For patients with severe vasculitis, Rheumatology of Central Indiana may perform a plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) to remove, treat, and return the plasma portion of your blood or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy to administer antibodies.

Bypass surgery to redirect blood circulation may also be needed in severe cases of vasculitis.

Though rare, vasculitis can have serious health consequences. For expert care, call Rheumatology of Central Indiana or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.