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What is Vasculitis?

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels, including the arteries and veins, and its presentation can range from mild to life-threatening. There are many types of vasculitis and the cause of this rare condition is usually not known. It can affect anyone of any age and often results in poor blood flow. Early detection of severe vasculitis can prevent permanent damage.   


Symptoms of Vasculitis 

There is a wide range of symptoms associated with vasculitis, some of these are, but not limited to: 

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Cough and shortness of breath 

May also include coughing up blood

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Numbness or weakening in the hand or foot 

Caused by some, but not all, types of vasculitis

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Red spots, lumps or sores on the skin

May also appear as rashes


Diagnosis of Vasculitis

Your rheumatologist may want to take blood tests, perform a biopsy of the affected tissue, or order an angiography to detect abnormalities of your blood vessels. 


Treatments for Vasculitis

Vasculitic diseases are most often treated with medications such as glucocorticoids, which help reduce inflammation. Other immune-suppressing medications may also be used. In severe cases, plasma exchange may be used. When damage from severe vasculitis has already occurred, surgery may be necessary, such as bypass grafting to redirect blood flow from a blocked blood vessel.  

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These medications help to reduce inflammation

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Plasma exchange

In severe cases, plasma exchange may be used

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When damage from severe vasculitis has already occurred


Clinical Trials

The rheumatologists at Saint John’s Physician Partners have been integrally involved in the development of medications that treat inflammatory arthritis conditions for decades. They were involved in the clinical trials that led to the approval at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medications that treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (SpA), osteoarthritis, and other bone and skin conditions like osteoporosis and psoriasis advanced therapies, some of which are biologic treatments. 


Vasculitis Specialists

Orrin Troum, M.D. and Amro Elbalkhi, M.D. provide consultation, diagnosis, and treatment for rheumatic diseases including inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), scleroderma, myositis, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. The Medical Doctors of Saint Johns strive to provide world class care and a personalized treatment plan for all patients and their families.  

2336 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 207, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2336 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 207, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2021 Santa Monica Blvd.,, Suite 421E, Santa Monica, CA 90404