Vasculitis Specialist

Charles D Malis, MD -  - Internal Medicine & Nephrology

Concord Health Center

Charles D Malis, MD

Internal Medicine & Nephrology located in Concord, MA

Your immune system is meant to protect you from disease and infection. However, malfunctions in your immune system may cause the immune cells to attack and damage healthy tissue, including your blood vessels, leading to conditions such as vasculitis. Board-certified internal medicine and nephrology physician Charles Malis, MD, at Concord Health Center is an experienced doctor and academic researcher who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vasculitis. For an evaluation, call the Concord, Massachusetts, office, or use the online booking feature today.

Vasculitis Q & A

What is vasculitis?

Vasculitis refers to inflammation of your blood vessels. The inflammation can affect arteries, capillaries, or veins, and it may decrease or cut off blood flow. Vasculitis can also cause the blood vessel walls to stretch or rupture; a condition referred to as an aneurysm.

What causes vasculitis?

Medication, infection, allergic reaction, or an underlying disease can lead to vasculitis. These causes trigger the malfunction in your immune system that leads to tissue damage and inflammation.

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any tissue in your body, and it’s one of the primary causes of vasculitis. Other diseases that may place you at risk of vasculitis include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Micropolyangiitis

Vasculitis can also develop without any known underlying cause.

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

Vasculitis symptoms may vary depending on the type of blood vessel and tissue affected by the inflammation. Vasculitis symptoms may include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Unexplained skin rash
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vision changes

The severity of the symptoms can also vary. In some cases, vasculitis can lead to permanent tissue damage.

How is vasculitis diagnosed?

You may require special testing to diagnose vasculitis. Dr. Malis provides thorough evaluations when you come in for care to provide the answers you’re searching for. During your evaluation, he reviews your signs, symptoms, medical history, and performs a physical exam.

The diagnostic testing you need may depend on the tissue affected by your vasculitis, and it may include advanced lab testing, diagnostic imaging, or even a biopsy. Once Dr. Malis has received the results of your test, he reviews them with you in detail to help you understand your diagnosis.

What are vasculitis treatments?

Dr. Malis creates personalized treatment plans for vasculitis based on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. If your vasculitis is mild, you may not require any treatment at all. If treatment is needed, you may benefit from corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

For severe vasculitis, Dr. Malis may suggest cytotoxic drugs, which kill the cells causing the inflammation. Other therapies that can be helpful for those suffering from vasculitis include:

  • Plasmapheresis
  • Intravenous gamma globulin
  • Cyclosporine

Dr. Malis reviews all of your treatment options with you, and together you determine the ones that you feel the most comfortable with.

For expert care for those difficult-to-diagnose conditions, contact Concord Health Center by phone or request an appointment online today.