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Vasculitis in children: Management overview

David Cabral, MBBS, FRCPC
Kimberly Morishita, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Section Editor
Robert Sundel, MD
Deputy Editor
Elizabeth TePas, MD, MS


Vasculitis is defined as the presence of inflammation in a blood vessel that may occur as a primary process or secondary to an underlying disease. Clinical symptoms vary widely. The various vasculitic syndromes are defined by both the type of pathological inflammation and the type and location of the vessels, and this, in turn, determines which specific organs are affected [1,2].

The first priorities in management of a child with vasculitis are prompt recognition and timely treatment as many of the vasculitides can be severe and life-threatening conditions if not appropriately managed. Specific treatments are determined by the type of vasculitis, the severity of the inflammation, and the particular organ systems affected.

The overview of the management of vasculitis in children is reviewed here. The classification and the approach to evaluating childhood vasculitis are discussed separately. (See "Vasculitis in children: Classification and incidence" and "Vasculitis in children: Evaluation".)


The following principles are important to consider when managing a child with vasculitis:

Differentiating vasculitis from other diseases that can either mimic vasculitis or cause secondary vasculitis


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: May 20, 2015.
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