Experts in Duke’s top-ranked rheumatology center diagnose and treat all forms of vasculitis -- an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of your blood vessels, including arteries, veins and capillaries. We offer a team approach to care for vasculitis, also known as angiitis and arteritis. We help you manage the painful symptoms and work with specialists throughout Duke, when necessary, to treat the more serious complications that can occur.
Experienced care for vasculitis
Our rheumatologists are experts at diagnosing and treating most forms of vasculitis, including Kawasaki disease, giant cell arteritis, Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis), Takayasu’s arteritis and polyarteritis nodosa. We offer the latest techniques and therapies to care for vasculitis, and are involved in research to better understand the causes of vasculitis and find the best treatments. We help you manage the disease and minimize your risk for future complications.
Choose Duke for your vasculitis treatment because we offer:
- Collaborative approach to care. Vasculitis can affect tissues and organs throughout the body, including the lungs, nerves and skin. Our physicians work closely with specialists including dermatologists, neurologists (nervous system specialists), nephrologists (kidney specialists), radiologists (imaging specialists), ophthalmologists (eye specialists), urologists (urinary system specialists) and cardiologists. Our team approach ensures you receive the most appropriate care plan for you.
- Active research program. Our rheumatologists are also researchers who seek to gain a better understanding of vasculitis, what causes it, and the most effective treatment options. As a result, you may benefit from the latest treatment guidelines, as well as have access to the latest therapies before they become widely available.
- Nationally ranked program. Our rheumatology program is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Treatment options include:
Reduce swelling, pain and inflammation and is used to treat most types of vasculitis.
Kill the cells causing the inflammation. Used when corticosteroids are ineffective.
Target specific areas of the immune system to reduce the inflammatory effects of certain types of vasculitis, such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis, microscopic polyangiitis and cryoglobulinemic vasculitis.
We strive to diagnose your condition at its earliest stages to ensure you experience the best possible outcome. Your evaluation begins with a review of your medical history and a comprehensive physical exam. Other tests may include:
Looks for specific blood cells and antibodies that signal the presence of inflammation. Testing may also indicate that the immune system is mistakenly attacking the body’s healthy tissues.
Surgical removal of a small piece of tissue from the affected organ, such as the skin, the kidneys, nerves or lungs. Used to to confirm vasculitis.
X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI may be used to determine whether larger arteries are affected in organs such as your lungs or heart.
A type of X-ray that shows blood flowing through your veins. A flexible, thin tube called a catheter is threaded into a large artery or vein. A special contrast dye is injected into the catheter to make the arteries and veins visible.