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Disease Information : Vasculitis : Treatment

Vasculitis : Treatment

How is Vasculitis Treated?

Treatment is not the same for all vasculitides as these diseases have unique clinical manifestations and prognosis. Sometimes vasculitis may be treated with corticosteroid alone whereas in other cases it may require a second immunosupressive medication (e.g. Wegener’s granulomatosis). Many factors affect the choice of treatment including the organ-systems involved and the severity and extent of disease. Cyclophosphamide is used in combination with steroids in severe cases, when critical organ function is affected or in life- threatening situations. In less severe cases, a less toxic agent such as methotrexate (MTX) may be used. Some cases require staged therapy with two steps: initial therapy to reduce the disease severity and the second step therapy for maintenance to reduce the risk of relapse. Methotrexate or azathioprine are commonly used agents for maintenance treatment. Most patients with vasculitis are treated by rheumatologists but other physicians may also be experienced in treating this problem.

How can vasculitis be prevented?

Many patients with a history of vasculitis must be monitored closely for relapses. Certain diseases may require monitoring of laboratory tests monthly. Immediate medical evaluation is important if recurrent or new symptoms appear that may indicate a relapse. Most patients with vasculitis require long-term follow-up for monitoring of disease activity, medication toxicity and damage from other diseases associated with vasculitis.

Vasculitis section was last modified: December 21, 2010 - 06:09 pm

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