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Vasculitis, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017



  • Injury to the walls of blood vessels from inflammation:

    • Ischemia and necrosis

    • Aneurysms and hemorrhage

    • Immunopathologic mechanisms:

      • Deposition of circulating antigen–antibody complex and...


Signs and Symptoms

  • Systemic complaints are common early in the presentation of vasculitis, before vascular-related complications occur:

    • Fever, fatigue, weight loss, diffuse aches and pains

  • Sign...


Initial Stabilization/Therapy

Stabilization of cerebrovascular complications 

Ed Treatment/Procedures

  • Treatment for vasculitis is determined by the underlying cause or the specific disease and ...



Admission Criteria

  • Patients with evidence of severe disease and end-organ dysfunction should be admitted.

  • Consult for procedures to revascularize ischemic organs.

Discharge Criteria


Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Drug therapy may be toxic; do not prescribe without specialist consultation.

  • Patients may be immunosuppressed and at risk for opportunistic pathogens.

  • Do not miss subacute bacterial ...

Additional Reading

  • Langford  CA. Vasculitis. J Allerg Clin Immunol.  2010;125(2 suppl 2):S216–S225.

  • Lapraik  C, Watts  R, Bacon  P, et al. BSR and BHPR guidelines for the management of adults with...



  • 446.0 Polyarteritis nodosa

  • 446.5 Giant cell arteritis

  • 447.6 Arteritis, unspecified

  • 443.1 Thromboangiitis obliterans [Buerger's disease]


  • I77.6 Arteritis, unspecified

  • M30.0 Polyarteritis nodos...

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