Large Vessel Vasculitides

The vasculitides are a range of disorders in which the primary pathological process is inflammation of blood vessels. The vasculitides are rare and often present with non-specific symptoms and signs; as a result the diagnosis may be delayed. Advances in the treatment of the vasculitides have made the early diagnosis of these syndromes essential because early interventions prevent complications and improve prognosis. Large vessels are defined as the aorta or a significant branch. Members of the large vessel vasculitides group include giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis) and Takayasu's arteritis.. Giant cell arteritis is treated with 30-40 mg per day of prednisolone in the absence of ocular symptoms. Vasculitides of medium vessels includes classical polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) and Kawasaki's disease. Vasculitides of small vessels may be

ANCA-associated (Wegener's granulomatosis, Churg-Strauss syndrome), immune complex-associated (Henoch-Schönlein purpura, essential cryoglobulinaemia), anti-glomerular basement membrane-associated (Goodpasture's syndrome, Type I crescentic glomerulonephritis) or may present as Behcet’s syndrome.


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