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Answers tagged vasculitis: Page 1 of 1
Q:

Mahdi from Afghanistan asks: My wife was told she has Takayasu’s arteritis, but her tests (ESR, CRP) came back normal.  Is this possible?

Takayasu’s arteritis is a form of vasculitis.  It is unique in that it affects large blood vessels, and is generally diagnosed in individuals under the age of 40.  It causes inflammation in the blood vessels, which can disrupt blood flow, or cause the wall of the blood vessel to become thinner than it should.  While markers for inflammation in blood tests can often be elevated in most forms of vasculitis, it is also possible for them to be normal.  A normal test does not rule out Takayasu’s arteritis.  While not for everyone, in some patients, a normal ESR or CRP may indicate that the disease is not currently active; damage has been done to the blood vessel causing blood flow disruption (no pulse), but smaller blood vessels have developed to provide the necessary blood flow in its place.

Q:

Natasha from India asks: Can HIV cause arthritis?

HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that affects the immune system.  In some individuals infected with HIV, it can present with musculoskeletal or rheumatic diseases, ranging from fibromyalgia, HIV-related arthritis, vasculitis or psoriatic arthritis.  For most of these, treatment of HIV will also effectively treat the arthritis too.

Q:

Tamara from Edmonton asks: Do rheumatologists treat Giant Cell Arteritis?

While rheumatologists are often thought of as treating arthritis only, there are many conditions that we treat that can affect other areas of the body.  Vasculitis, or inflammation of blood vessels, is an area of expertise for rheumatologists, including Giant Cell Arteritis.  Examples of other conditions which can affect other organs besides joints include lupus, scleroderma, polymyalgia rheumatica, myositis, and osteoporosis.

Q:

Wendy from the UK asks: Does the treatment of Polymyalgia Rheumatica with steroids prevent Giant Cell Arteritis?

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis, otherwise known as GCA or temporal arteritis, are distinct condition that may present at the same time.  Many patients with GCA also will present with PMR, while a smaller proportion of patients with PMR present with GCA.  While the treatment for both starts the same – glucocorticoids – the doses are very different.  PMR is treated with low dose prednisone, while GCA initially requires high dose prednisone.  That said, once on prednisone, the risk of developing GCA, and particularly loss of vision from GCA, drops significantly.



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