Vasculitides throughout history and their clinical treatment today

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2011 Dec;13(6):465-72. doi: 10.1007/s11926-011-0210-x.


Therapeutic management of the vasculitides is closely linked to modern rheumatologic advances, particularly as it relates to the discovery and first clinical use of glucocorticoids. These compounds were introduced in the late-1940s for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, but soon after, clinicians in Europe and the United States realized that they could have a significant positive impact in systemic vasculitides. However, once it was realized that glucocorticoid use was associated with a high degree of morbidity, the search for better immunosuppressive agents with similar efficacy but improved safety profiles was on. During the past several years, several agents have been utilized for the therapeutic management of systemic vasculitides, and the list keeps growing with the development of newer compounds that have retained efficacy but with a better safety profile.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects
  • Glucocorticoids / history*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / history*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Remission Induction
  • Rheumatology / history*
  • Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Vasculitis / history*


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents