Imuran and Vasculitis

Question

What starts vasculitis? I have been on imuran since last summer after being diagnosed with it. Can it ever go completely away and what does the imuran do besides stop the skin ulcerations on my leg. One ulceration needed 3 debridgments. The scar is BIG and ugly so I guess I’ll give up on swimsuits and shorts. Not be vain about this though.

Answer

In many cases, the trigger for vasculitis remains unknown. In some types of vasculitis such as polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), there is a strong link with hepatitis B and C virus raising speculation that the virus or the response to the virus triggers the inflammation. The course of vasculitis is unpredictable but in many cases the disease quiets or “burns out” over roughly a 2-3 year period of time– the reason for this is also unknown.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University