Use of imaging studies in the diagnosis of vasculitis

Wolfgang A. Schmidt1

(1) Medical Center for Rheumatology Berlin-Buch, Karower Strasse 11, D-13125 Berlin, Germany

Abstract Imaging studies are necessary to determine disease extension and disease activity in the small-vessel vasculitides. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) increase the number of pathologic findings compared with conventional radiography.

MRI delineates mucosal inflammation and granulomas in the paranasal sinuses, whereas CT provides information about osseous lesions. CT is superior to MRI for the detection of pulmonary lesions.

Radiograph angiography has been the gold standard for medium- and large-vessel vasculitides for decades. Echocardiography and MRI correspond well with conventional angiography to assess cardiac involvement in Kawasaki disease. MRI, CT, and CT angiography are alternative noninvasive techniques to delineate vasculitic lesions in polyarteritis nodosa, Takayasu’s arteritis, and large-vessel giant cell arteritis.

Duplex ultrasonography has the greatest resolution. It delineates typical artery wall swelling in temporal arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis. Positron emission tomography can assess inflammatory activity of large arteries.

Abstract can be found here.

My Analysis: This information helps the vasculitis patient understand why they are being given imaging tests. Sometimes when we are in the hospital, we are given one test after another and the health professionals do not take the time to tell us what is going on… We need to know.


About Cyn Bagley

My life is a mixture of travel, jobs, and disease. You can find some of my novels on under the name Cyn Bagley.
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2 Responses to Use of imaging studies in the diagnosis of vasculitis

  1. sideon says:

    Excellent analysis. Medical institutions should take more heed about their primary concern: patients. It’s amazing the lack of communication between doctor and patient, sometimes. I’m on the phone every other week with my mom’s doctor because she’s deaf as a post and he’d rather talk to me using a normal voice, rather than losing his vocal cords. Still, it’s like pulling out rusty nails to get the full story sometimes.

  2. Thanks Sideon,I don’t put up half the stuff that we find on vasculitis treatment and diagnostic help. I am trying to do better…Sometimes folks you contact me about this disease have heard what their doctors have said, but are still in shock about the diagnosis. I hope to help the caretakers help the patients get the correct treament.Yours, CynPS… Yea, I noticed that about doctors too. Sometimes I have found that I know more about this disease than the doctors do, which usually happens when someone has a rare disease.

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