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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Angiitis
  • Autoimmune vasculitis
  • Vasculitis, autoimmune
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How might vasculitis be treated?

Treatment of vasculitis generally depends on the type of vasculitis, the organs affected and the severity in each individual.[1] The main goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation in the affected blood vessels. Individuals with mild vasculitis may only need over-the-counter pain medications, while those with severe vasculitis are often treated with prescription medications including corticosteroids and/or cytotoxic medicines that reduce or stop the immune response causing the inflammation.[1] Commonly used medications have included methotrexate, prednisone and/or cyclophosphamide.[2] In rare cases, surgery may be needed. Other treatments may be used for certain types of vasculitis (for example, high-dose aspirin and immune globulin for Kawasaki syndrome).[1]

A study by U. Specks et al. published in August of 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a medication called rituximab is as effective as cyclophosphamide and glucocorticoids for ANCA-associated vasculitis; the authors reported that rituximab also requires a shorter treatment duration. For the patients in this study, administration of rituximab once a week for 4 weeks, followed by placebo, was as effective in the treatment of severe ANCA-associated vasculitis as conventional immunosuppressive therapy administered for 18 months.[3] See the NIH's news release "Therapy for severe vasculitis shows long-term effectiveness" for more information about this study.
Last updated: 8/5/2013

  1. How is vasculitis treated?. NHLBI. April 1, 2011; Accessed 8/5/2013.
  2. Vasculitis Treatments. The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center. 2013; Accessed 8/5/2013.
  3. Specks U., et al. Efficacy of remission-induction regimens for ANCA-associated vasculitis. N Engl J Med. August 1, 2013; 369(5):417-427.

Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • lists trials that are studying or have studied Vasculitis. Click on the link to go to to read descriptions of these studies.