The vasculitides span a wide range of disease severity, extending from illnesses that rarely produce death to those almost universally fatal before the introduction of effective therapy. Clinical manifestations of specific vasculitic disorders are diverse and depend on the size of the involved vessels and the organs affected by ischemia. Most damage results when inflammation narrows vessels and causes tissue necrosis.
Immunosuppressive and cytotoxic agents are used to treat many vasculitic diseases. Although such approaches can be effective, long-term treatment may be complicated by chronic sequelae from organ damage, disease relapses, and medication side effects. Recent investigations have focused on understanding the pathophysiology of these diseases, which may lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapeutic options.
Two cases related to the presentation and management of vasculitis are discussed.
KeywordsVasculitis Wegener’s granulomatosis Necrotizing sialometaplasia Churg-Strauss syndrome Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies
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