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How serious is vasculitis?

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Vasculitis can be very serious. In an extreme situation, when a segment of a blood vessel weakens, it may then stretch and bulge (this is called an aneurysm). The wall of the blood vessel can become so weak that it ruptures and bleeds, possibly causing death. Fortunately, this is a very rare event.

If a blood vessel becomes inflamed and narrowed, the blood supply to the area of the body it serves may be partially or completely blocked. If there aren't enough alternate blood vessels (called collateral blood vessels) to carry the blood to such sites, the tissue supplied by the affected vessels will die. Because vasculitis can occur in any part of the body, the condition can affect any tissue or organ.

From: Vasculitis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center: "Rheumatoid Vasculitis Information." National Library of Medicine: "Vasculitis." Vasculitis Foundation: "Vasculitis Statistics." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment."



Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 21, 2020

SOURCES: The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center: "Rheumatoid Vasculitis Information." National Library of Medicine: "Vasculitis." Vasculitis Foundation: "Vasculitis Statistics." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment."



Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on March 21, 2020

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How is vasculitis treated?

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