The term vasculitis is defined as inflammation of the blood vessel wall. Small-vessel vasculitides affect post-capillary venules, mostly in the skin. Defining the different types of small-vessel vasculitides is important as they may be associated with systemic manifestations, may require additional patient evaluation and may require more than only supportive care. Evaluation of a patient with suspected small-vessel vasculitis requires skin biopsy, evaluation of the extent of the disease, and an attempt to define an etiology. Management is based on providing supportive care, treating any underlying condition, avoiding any triggers, and treating based on severity of skin lesions and systemic involvement.
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.