Overview of Vasculitis

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Dec 27, 2012

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Vasculitis can affect any of the body's blood vessels. These include arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry blood from your heart to your body's organs. Veins carry blood from your organs and limbs back to your heart. Capillaries connect the small arteries and veins.
When a blood vessel is inflamed, it can narrow or close off. This limits or prevents blood from getting through the vessel. Rarely, the blood vessel will stretch and weaken, causing it to bulge. This bulge is known as an aneurysm (AN-u-rism).


The disruption in blood flow from inflammation can damage the body's organs. Signs and symptoms depend on which organs have been damaged and the extent of the damage.


Typical symptoms of inflammation, such as fever and general aches and pains, are common among people who have vasculitis.


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