Vasculitis and raynaud’s disease



Vasculitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the blood vessels that can result to narrowing or swelling. The exact cause is not known, but there is thought to be an auto-immune component whereby the body’s own defence cells attack the blood vessels. There are various types of vasculitis, including Buerger’s disease, giant cell arteritis, Takayasu’s arteritis and a number of others.

Symptoms of vasculitis depend on which body part is affected and can include generally feeling unwell, signs of weight loss and temperature can also be present. Blood tests will commonly be performed to look for specific markers of the disease as well as various types of imaging of the blood vessels can be used to help identify the type of vasculitis. Occasionally a biopsy of the affected tissue part will be undertaken.

Treatment can involve pharmacotherapy and on occasions surgery.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a relatively common disorder, which can affect all age groups and is more commonly seen in women than men with an incidence of close to 10%. Raynaud’s can exist on its own with no underlying conditions or as part of another condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. 

The condition affects the fingers and toes and is caused by a sporadic interruption to the blood supply. When this happens, the extremities turn white and can go numb and painful before turning blue. As the blood supply is restored, the digits turn red and may be painful. An episode can often be triggered by cold weather and usually lasts a few minutes. For most sufferers, Raynaud’s does not cause long term damage.

Diagnosis is usually made on clinical history alone. Blood tests will normally be performed to look at the blood count and signs of other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. Non-invasive microvascular studies can also be performed to look for damage to the small blood vessels at the tips of the fingers and toes.

Treatment usually includes taking simple measures such as wearing gloves and avoiding cold draughts which can help. In more troublesome cases medication can be prescribed. These work by opening up the blood vessels in the extremities thereby increasing the blood supply.

Previous: Hyperhidrosis

about usAbout_Us.htmlAbout_Us.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
the teamThe_Team.htmlThe_Team.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
find usFind_Us.htmlFind_Us.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
contact usContact_Us.htmlContact_Us.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0

Previous: Renal Denervation