Vasculitis represents a family of rare diseases and can affect people of all ages. The outlook for people who have vasculitis varies depending on both the type and severity of the vasculitis. Treatment is often very effective if vasculitis is diagnosed and treated early. In some cases, it may be a chronic problem, requiring ongoing treatment, or it may come back (“flare”) after a period of remission. In more severe cases, treatment may not help, and vasculitis can lead to disability or even death.
There are over 15 vasculitides (plural of vasculitis) affecting the small, medium and large vessels. They include: Behcet’s disease, Buerger’s disease, Central Nervous System, Churg Strauss Syndrome, Cryoglobulinemia, Giant Cell Arteritis, Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, Wegener’s), Henoch-Schönlein purpura, Hypersensitivity vasculitis, Kawasaki disease, Microscopic polyangiitis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Polymyalgia rheumatica, Rheumatoid vasculitis, Takayasu’s arteritis.
Although the diseases share many of the same symptoms and treatment courses, each is different and patients must learn as much as possible about their individual disease. Additional research is needed to learn more about the various types of vasculitis and their causes, treatments and remission patterns.