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Hypersensitivity Vasculitis - Symptoms & Treatment


Hypersensitivity vasculitis (Leukocytoclastic vasculitis), is a histopathologic term commonly used to denote a small-vessel vasculitis. The disease may be limited to the skin or may involve many different organs, in which case it is called cutaneoussystemic angiitis. It is usually due to a hypersensitivity reaction to a known drug, auto-antigens or infectious agents such as bacteria. There are a number of causes but no aetiology is discovered in about half. The disorder can be acute or chronic and may affect internal organs too. The kidneys and gastrointestinal tract are most commonly affected but joints are also often involved. Vasculitis of the skin can occur without any systemic disease. Hypersensitivity vasculitis affects men and women in approximately equal proportions. Some of the studies from Spain suggest that Hypersensitivity vasculitis is slightly more common in men than in women. Hypersensitivity vasculitis may be idiopathic, directly caused by a drug, or occur in association with a known disorder, such as infection. The disorder may be localized to the skin, or it may manifest in other organs. Joints are also commonly affected. The presence of skin vasculitis, usually red spots, is the main symptom in hypersensitivity vasculitis.

Causes of Hypersensitivity vasculitis

The common causes and risk factor's of Hypersensitivity vasculitis include the following:

  • Small vessel vasculitis.
  • An infection.
  • Foods or food additives may cause vasculitis.
  • Antibiotics are the most common drugs that can cause hypersensitivity vasculitis.
  • An antigen is a foreign substance or protein in the body that can trigger an immune response.

Symptoms of Hypersensitivity vasculitis

Some sign and symptoms related to Hypersensitivity vasculitis are as follows:

  • Fever.
  • Flat and raised lesions of different sizes over one or more areas of skin.
  • Itchy skin eruption.
  • Fatigue.
  • Changes in the cells of the small blood vessels that can be seen through a microscope.
  • Loss of appetite.

Treatment of Hypersensitivity vasculitis

Here is list of the methods for treating Hypersensitivity vasculitis:

  • The most important part of the treatment is to eliminate the cause of the vasculitis, if at all possible. Antihistamines prove helpful to some patients.
  • If symptoms persist, therapy with corticosteroids such as prednisone is usually tried.
  • Azathioprine 150 mg/day may be used to treat hypersensitivity vasculitis.
  • Elevation of the legs or compression stockings may be useful because the disease often affects dependent areas.
  • Surgical care for patients with hypersensitivity vasculitis is rarely needed.

 

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