Vasculitis syndromes


Giant cell arteritis on histopathology.
  • Heterogenous group of disorders, clinico-pathologic process characterized by inflammation within walls of blood vessels, compromise of vessel lumen, and resulting ischemia
  • Presentation varies greatly depending on etiology and specific vessels affected
  • Classification by size of vessels predominantly involved

Vasculitis Syndrome Types

Clinical Features

Large Vessel Vasculitis

  • Limb claudication
  • Asymmetric blood pressures
  • Diminished or absent peripheral pulses
  • Bruits
  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Sudden blindness (giant cell arteritis)

Medium Vessel Vasculitis

  • Cutaneous nodules, livedo reticularis
  • Ulcers
  • Digital gangrene
  • Mononeuritis multiplex (asynchronous/asymmetric peripheral neuropathy)
  • Microaneurysms

Small Vessel Vasculitis

Differential Diagnosis

Petechiae/Purpura (by cause)


  • Workup dependent on presentation, likely to include at least CBC, ESR, BMP, UA



See Also

External Links