Central nervous system vasculitis in adults: An update

Autoimmun Rev. 2017 Feb;16(2):123-131. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2016.12.001. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


Primary central nervous system vasculitis (PCNSV) is a challenging diagnosis due to broad clinical manifestations and variable specificity and sensitivity of laboratory and imaging diagnostic tools. Differential diagnosis includes reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), secondary vasculitis of the CNS and other noninflammatory vasculopathies. Brain biopsy is essential for definitive diagnosis and to exclude mimickers. Recent data show that data large-vessel PCNSV present worse prognosis when compared to small-vessel PCNSV. Herein we review diagnosis and management of PCNSV, secondary vasculitis of CNS and RCVS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / diagnosis*