Early symptoms of vasculitis


The early symptoms of vasculitis may develop quickly over a period of days or weeks, and vary depending on the type of vasculitis and the organs affected. The symptoms can sometimes also develop gradually over a span of months. In any case, the symptoms are often associated with reduced circulation through the body caused by inflamed blood vessels and thickened, weakened, narrowed, scarred blood vessel walls.

General vasculitis symptoms include:

·         Fever.

·         Headache.

·         Fatigue.

·         Appetite loss.

·         Weight loss.

·         Aches and pains.

·         Night sweats.

·         Rash.

·         Numbness, weakness, and other nerve problems.

·         Loss of pulse in a limb.

Type-specific symptoms

Type of vasculitis



Behcet’s syndrome

·         Mouth and genital ulcers.

·         Eye inflammation.

·         Acne-like lesions.

Buerger’s disease

·         Pain in the hands, arms, feet, and legs.

·         Ulcers on fingers and toes.



·         Rash.

·         Joint pain.

·         Weakness.

·         Numbness or tingling.

Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (aka Churg-Strauss syndrome)

·         Asthma.

·         Nerve pain.

·         Sinus changes.



Giant cell arteritis

·         Headaches.

·         Tender scalp.

·         Jaw pain.

·         Blurry or double vision.

·         Blindness.

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (aka Wegener’s granulomatosis)

·         Stuffed nose.

·         Sinus infections.

·         Nosebleed.


Henoch-Schonlein purpura

·         Abdominal pain.

·         Bloody urine.

·         Joint pain.

·         Rash on the buttocks or lower legs.

Hypersensitivity vasculitis

·         Red spots on the skin.


Kawasaki disease

·         Fever.

·         Rash.

·         Eye inflammation.

Microscopic polyangiitis

·         Abdominal pain.

·         Rash.



Polyarterisis nodosa

·         Rash.

·         Muscle and joint pain.

·         Abdominal pain.

·         Hypertension.

·         Kidney problems.



Takayasu’s arteritis

·         Numbness or coldness in the limbs.

·         Loss of pulse.

·         Hypertension.

·         Headaches.

·         Changes in vision.


Organ-specific symptoms





·         Purple or red spots or bumps.

·         Clusters of small dos, splotches, bruises, or hives.

·         Skin itch.


·         Arthritis in one or more joints.


·         Shortness of breath.

·         Coughing up blood.

Grastrointestinal tract

·         Mouth sores.

·         Stomach pain.


Sinuses, nose, throat, ears

·         Sinus or chronic middle ear infections.

·         Nose ulcers.

·         Hearing loss.



·         Red, itchy, or burning eyes.

·         Photosensitivity.

·         Blurry vision.



·         Headaches.

·         Thinking problems.

·         Muscle weakness.

·         Paralysis.




·         Numbness.

·         Tingling.

·         Weakness.

·         Loss of strength in hands and feet.

·         Shooting pains in arms and legs.


The early symptoms of vasculitis can affect people of all genders and ages, but they appear to be more common in people with certain conditions like chronic hepatitis B or C infection; people with certain autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma; and smokers. If vasculitis is left untreated, it can lead to organ damage, blood clots and aneurysms, loss of vision or blindness, and pneumonia and blood infections. Vasculitis is not preventable but it is treatable, especially if diagnosed early.

The following tests can help diagnose vasculitis:

·         Blood tests

-        Hemoglobin and hematocrit.

-        Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA).

-        Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

-        Amount of C-reactive protein (CRP)

·         Biopsy

-        Skin.

-        Kidney.

-        Sural nerve.

-        Temporal artery.

-        Lung.

-        Brain.

·         Blood pressure.

·         Urinalysis.

·         Electrocardiogram

·         Echocardiography.

·         Chest X-ray.

·         Lung function.

·         Abdominal ultrasound.

·         Computed tomography scan.

·         Magnetic resonance imaging.

·         Angiography.

·         Abdominal angiogram.

·         Central nervous angiogram.

Since there are so many types of vasculitis that can affect several different organs, a variety of doctors may be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the conditions, such as rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists, dermatologists, pulmonologists, nephrologists, neurologists, cardiologists, ophthalmologists, and urologists.

Vasculitis is treated with drugs ranging from over-the-counter pain medicines like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for mild vasculitis to prescription drugs like corticosteroids and cytotoxic medicines for severe vasculitis. Either way, surgery seldom resorted to.