Vasculitis

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vasculitis

[‚vas·kyə′līd·əs]
(medicine)
Inflammation of a blood vessel or a lymph vessel. Also known as angiitis.

Vasculitis

 

inflammation of the walls of the small blood vessels. Vasculitis is usually caused by influenza, typhus, streptococcal infections (erysipelas, angina), or physical factors (frostbite, burns). Vasculitis may also arise as a secondary manifestation of collagen or allergic diseases, such as rheumatism, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and serum and drug diseases. Sometimes vasculitis may be caused by a combination of some of these factors. The most usual, and often the only, external symptom of vasculitis is affection of the skin (hemorrhages, rashes, necrotic nidi, and so forth). As vasculitis progresses, thrombi may form in the vessels (thrombovasculitis), necrosis of the walls of the vessels may occur, and aneurysms may form. In the final stage of vasculitis complete occlusion of the vessels by a thrombus may occur, which leads to the disrupting of nutrition to the corresponding tissues and organs, bursting of aneurysms, and hemorrhaging into the surrounding tissues. Vasculitis is classified according to site as cutaneous and visceral; the latter predominantly affects the vessels of serous and mucous membranes of internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys. Treatment consists of the removal of the main disease causing the vasculitis.

REFERENCE

Davydovskii, I. V. Patoligicheskaia anatomiia i patogenez boleznei cheloveka, 3rd ed., vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1956-58.

IU. I. ZAK

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