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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Vasculitis

10/31/2007

Question:

Can you tell my the symptoms of Vasculitis? My RA if flaring and my hands and wrists are realy swollen. There is a vein at my wrist that is also sticking out of my arm more too.

Answer:

To make your questions more specific, I will address vasculitis associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as opposed to all vasculitides. The vasculitis associated with RA typically involves smaller blood vessels. Symptoms may include small, raised, red/purplish skin lesions or nerve dysfunction that causes focal motor or sensory loss (example, weakness only with lifting the foot as opposed to weakness of the entire foot and leg). The usual concern is pathology of the arteries and not of the vein. A vein that appears more prominent is not specific or highly suggestive of vasculitis.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University