Vasculitis is the inflammation of blood vessels, causing them to thicken, weaken, narrow or scar.
These changes can reduce blood flow and damage organs and tissues. Vasculitis can be a short or long-term condition and can affect anyone, although some types are more common among certain groups.
The signs and symptoms of this condition vary widely and usually involve a decrease in blood flow throughout the body. However, as the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute indicates, the most frequent signs are fever, headache, fatigue, weight loss, general discomfort and pain, night sweats, rash, and nerve problems that cause numbness or weakness.
Some risk factors that can accelerate the onset of this condition include smoking, having chronic hepatitis B or C infections, and certain types of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or lupus.
Keep in mind: Vasculitis is a term that refers to a group of rare diseases in which the blood vessels become inflamed, including arteries and veins.