Vasculitis (CNS)

About Vasculitis (CNS)

Vasculitis is characterized by inflammation in the blood vessels, which can result in damage that affects your overall health. The damage can occur not only in the tissues of your body but also your organs, or in some cases your brain vessels. Vasculitis comes in different types, some of them occur very rapidly, others produce symptoms more slowly over months. It is critical that you undergo the correct treatment to alleviate the issues before they become more prevalent. Educating yourself about this disease enables you to choose the right physician and treatment plan.

Symptoms of Vasculitis (CNS)

The general symptoms of vasculitis include:

  • You probably started noticing that you didn’t feel well and began to experience body aches and pains. These symptoms may have included a headache, fatigue or fever.
  • Many patients experience unexplainable weight loss or develop a rash on their body.
  • You may have woken in the middle of the night to realize you were sweating. These night sweats may have become more frequent over time.
  • You may have noticed problems with your limbs. Many people have numbness or tingling in their arms or legs, or notice the absence of a pulse in the extremity.

There are many different forms of vasculitis and the symptoms are just as varied, such as joint pain with cryoglobulinemia or scalp tenderness with giant cell arteritis. In some forms of the disorder, other diseases can exacerbate the symptoms of vasculitis or trigger it, thus making it more difficult to treat. Most general practitioners will refer you to a neurosurgeon if they suspect a vasculitis that involves the brain to determine the exact type of vasculitis and the most effective treatment plan.

Diagnosing Vasculitis (CNS)

Blood test results can indicate inflammation of your blood vessels. The presence of an abnormally high level of C-reactive protein is one such indicator. The presence of too much protein in your urine or red blood cells is another red flag that is discovered by routine tests.

Your doctor may try various types of non-invasive imaging, which can help pinpoint which blood vessels are inflamed and which organs are affected by your vasculitis. This insight is quite helpful in providing the doctor the information he or she needs to plan your treatment.

Angiography is a type of imaging that allows the physician to closely observe your blood vessels. This is done by inserting a slim catheter and injecting dye into an artery or vein.

Taking a biopsy of the tissue in the section of your body that is causing you problems is another form of diagnostic testing that can determine if your medical problem is a form of vasculitis.

Treatment Options for Vasculitis (CNS)

The treatment of vasculitis usually involves two phases. The first course of action is to stop the initial inflammation. After this has been done, your doctor or surgeon will move on to the second phase, which focuses on preventing a recurrence. Treating other medical issues that may trigger the vasculitis is another important factor in your treatment plan.

Prescription drugs are effective in treating the inflammation of the blood vessels. These drugs include corticosteroids which help to eliminate the inflammation. If this type of drug doesn’t have positive results, the physician often prescribes an immunosuppressant drug. These work by helping the immune system to function correctly and alleviate the inflammation it causes.

Some patients must cope with ongoing problems associated with vasculitis for the rest of their lives. Others only have occasional flare-ups. Choosing the right doctor to treat this disease will help you to get the most desirable outcome.

Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?

Confidence in your health care provider is an important consideration when your health is compromised. The Neurosurgeons of New Jersey are a large, sub-specialized neurosurgery group with several offices in the Tri-state area. Their vast experience in vasculitis and other neurological disorders enables them to provide their each of their patients with compassionate treatment and focused, skilled care.

Our Doctors Who Treat Vasculitis

Dr. Dorothea Altschul

MD

Dr. Grace Mandigo

MD, FAANS

Dr. Gaetan Moise

MD, FAANS

Dr. Ahsan Sattar

MD

Dr. Henry Moyle

MD, FAANS

Dr. E. Sander Connolly

MD, FACS

Dr. Sean D. Lavine

MD, FAANS

Dr. Philip M. Meyers

MD, FAHA