Vasculitis is a general term for a group of rare diseases, where there is inflammation of blood vessels.  There are multiple types of vasculitis.   Most types of vasculitis are rare and often times the root causes are unknown. Vasculitic disorders are classified according to the size of the vessel affected such as small (Wegener's or Churg-Struss syndrome, Microscopic polyangiitis), medium (Polyarteritis nodosa) or large (Temporal arteritis or Takayasu's).

Vasculitis can affect persons of both sexes and a broad range of ages from children to older adults, and can vary significantly in terms of symptoms, severity, and duration.
Vasculitis is a form of autoimmune conditions in which the body's immune system attacks the blood vessel.  It can affect arteries, veins and capillaries. Arteries are vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body's organs. Veins are the vessels that carry blood back to the heart. Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that connect the small arteries and veins.  When these blood vessels become inflamed, it can

• Narrow, making it more difficult for blood to get through
• Close off completely so that blood can't get through
• Stretch and weaken so much that it bulges and may burst and cause dangerous bleeding inside the body

Symptoms of vasculitis can vary, but usually include fever, swelling, various vasculature problems, including lack of blood circulation, pain and a general sense of feeling ill. The main goal of treatment is to stop the inflammation.