The manifestations of vasculitis are protean and may mimic common diseases such as sinusitis and respiratory infections. Pathogenesis involves immune dysregulation, and treatment usually centres on intensive immunosuppression.
- The manifestations of vasculitis depend on the size of the blood vessels affected by inflammation.
- Vasculitis leads to morbidity and mortality if not promptly and effectively treated.
- Symptoms are often nonspecific and may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, headache and rash.
- Features that should raise immediate suspicion for underlying vasculitis include asymmetric polyneuropathy, new-onset proteinuria or glomerular haematuria, headache combined with visual loss or palpable purpura.
- Urgent treatment is required for patients who present with deteriorating vision, haemoptysis or signs of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis.
- Treatment depends on the extent of organ involvement but often involves intensive immunosuppression based on glucocorticoids.
- Rituximab may be used in organ-threatening disease at treatment outset.
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