This question is difficult to address in general terms because there are a lot of individual factors that influence the need for specific laboratory tests. In principle, serial laboratory testing over time has two major goals. First, laboratory testing should screen for disease activity. Second, laboratory testing should look for toxicity of the medications used to control the disease activity.
The following battery of tests is usually sufficient for most types of vasculitis; markers of inflammations (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein), a complete blood count (with differential cell count), a blood chemistry panel (that includes liver function tests and kidney function tests), and a urinalysis with urine microscopy (for forms of vasculitis that frequently involve the kidneys). The frequency of these tests depends on the individual situation (type of disease, organ system involvement, medications used, whether remission has been achieved, and the duration of remission, etc.)
In addition to laboratory testing, your doctor may also choose certain imaging studies such as chest x-ray, chest CT (CAT) scan, MR angiograms (MRI), or others, to follow specific disease manifestations in specific forms of vasculitis.(Click the back button in your browser to go back to the FAQ page.)