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The systemic vasculitides are a complex and often serious group of disorders which, while uncommon, require careful management in order to ensure optimal outcome. In most cases there is no known cause. Multi-system disease is likely to be fatal without judicious use of immunosuppression. A prompt diagnosis is necessary to preserve organ function. Comprehensive and repeated disease assessment is a necessary basis for planning therapy and modification of treatment protocols according to response. Therapies typically include glucocorticoids and, especially for small and medium vessel vasculitis, an effective immunosuppressive agent. Cyclophosphamide is currently the standard therapy for small vessel multi-system vasculitis, but other agents are now being evaluated in large randomized trials. Comorbidity is common in patients with vasculitis, including the cumulative effects of potentially toxic therapy. Long-term evaluation of patients is important in order to detect and manage relapses.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin exp immunol

Publication Date





143 - 160


Animals, Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic, Autoantibodies, Biopsy, Clinical Trials as Topic, Diagnostic Imaging, Drug Design, Early Diagnosis, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Incidence, Inflammation Mediators, Interdisciplinary Communication, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Patient Care Team, Physical Examination, Systemic Vasculitis