Immune complex small vessel vasculitis is an autoimmune disorder caused by an abnormal immune response that leads to inflammation and damage of small arteries, veins, and capillaries. This inflammation is caused by antibodies which mistakenly attack healthy tissue and can be triggered by infections or drugs.
To diagnose immune complex small vessel vasculitis, a doctor may perform a physical exam to assess signs of inflammation and check for any other health issues. Blood tests may be ordered to check for inflammation markers, autoantibodies, and infections that could be causing the vasculitis. Imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI may also be used to assess the extent of inflammation.
Differential diagnosis for small vessel vasculitis includes other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome; infections such as HIV or hepatitis; and drug-induced vasculitis such as H. pylori infection.
Treatment for immune complex small vessel vasculitis may include medication to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system, as well as lifestyle changes such as avoiding triggers, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.
The prognosis for immune complex small vessel vasculitis is generally good, although some people experience chronic symptoms. With proper treatment, most people can manage their symptoms and lead a normal life.