The presenting features of the systemic vasculitides are protean and diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical, laboratory and histopathological features. Clinical features alone are not always diagnostic as a variety of other diseases can mimic systemic vasculitis (Table 15.1). These mimics usually present with multiorgan illness or evidence of vascular damage, or a combination of both. Biopsy of involved organs is, therefore, important to identify noninflammatory vascular changes such as embolism or thrombosis. For example, angiographic features including aneurysms, though typical of PAN, can occur in other conditions such as myxoma and bacterial endocarditis.
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