What are the different types of Vasculitis?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Dec 31, 2012

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There are many types of vasculitis. Each type involves inflamed blood vessels. However, most types differ in whom they affect and the organs that are involved.


The types of vasculitis often are grouped based on the size of the blood vessels they affect.

Mostly Large Vessel Vasculitis

These types of vasculitis usually, but not always, affect the larger blood vessels.

Behçet's Disease

Behçet's (beh-CHET'S) disease can cause recurrent, painful ulcers in the mouth, ulcers on the genitals, acne-like skin lesions, and eye inflammation called uveitis (u-ve-I-tis).
The disease occurs most often in people aged 20 to 40. Men are more likely to get it, but it also can affect women. It's more common in people of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern descent, although it rarely affects Blacks.


Researchers believe that a gene called the HLA-B51 gene may play a role in Behçet's disease. However, not everyone who has the gene gets the disease.


Cogan's Syndrome

Cogan's syndrome can occur in people who have a systemic vasculitis that affects the large vessels, especially the aorta and aortic valve. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. A systemic vasculitis is a type of vasculitis that affects you in a general or overall way.


Cogan's syndrome can lead to eye inflammation called interstitial keratitis (in-ter-STISH-al ker-ah-TI-tis). It also can cause hearing changes, including sudden deafness.

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant cell arteritis (ar-ter-I-tis) usually affects the temporal artery, an artery on the side of your head. This condition also is called temporal arteritis. Symptoms of this condition can include headache, scalp tenderness, jaw pain, blurred vision, double vision, and acute (sudden) vision loss.


Giant cell arteritis is the most common form of vasculitis in adults older than 50. It's more likely to occur in people of Scandinavian origin, but it can affect people of any race.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (POL-e-my-AL-ja RU-ma-ti-kuh), or PMR, commonly affects the large joints in the body, such as the shoulders and hips. PMR typically causes stiffness and pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips, and thighs.


Most often, PMR occurs by itself, but 10–20 percent of people who have PMR also develop giant cell arteritis. Also, about half of the people who have giant cell arteritis also can have PMR.

Takayasu's Arteritis

Takayasu's (tock-e-AH-sues) arteritis affects medium- and large-sized arteries, particularly the aorta and its branches. The condition is sometimes called aortic arch syndrome.

Though rare, Takayasu's arteritis occurs mostly in teenage girls and young women. The condition is more common in Asians, but it can affect people of all races and occur throughout the world.


Takayasu's arteritis is a systemic disease. A systemic disease is one that affects you in a general or overall way. Symptoms of Takayasu's arteritis may include tiredness and a sense of feeling unwell, fever, night sweats, sore joints, loss of appetite, and weight loss. These symptoms usually occur before other signs develop that point to arteritis.

Mostly Medium Vess...


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