Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels caused when the immune system mistakes blood vessels for foreign invaders and mounts an attack. The resulting inflammation causes arteries to narrow, restricting blood flow to vital organs.
Because red blood cells are the mechanism that delivers oxygen throughout the body, restricted blood flow reduces the amount of oxygen received which may result in serious damage to vital organs, and in some cases, death.
Vasculitis comes in various forms, some of which are not so serious and may last only a short time. Other forms may be serious, chronic life-long conditions. Some types of vasculitis may become life-threatening.
Here, we’ll take a look at five forms of vasculitis. This list is not meant to be exhaustive but simply to provide information on a few common vasculitis types.
Leukocytoclastic vasculitis is often called hypersensitivity vasculitis or allergic vasculitis.