What are the limitations of classifying vasculitis by vessel size?

Updated: Dec 10, 2018
  • Author: Nadia Jennifer Chiara Luca, MD; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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However, an overlap of vessel sizes affected within the diseases is noted, and the phenotype and pattern of organ involvement in vasculitis seems to be independent of vessel size. For example, Kawasaki disease is characterized by a mucocutaneous syndrome and coronary artery inflammation, whereas polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), another medium-vessel vasculitis, manifests with nodular skin lesions, neuropathy, and hypertension.

As such, the most recent classification of childhood vasculitides incorporates both vessel size and organ manifestations. This classification was proposed at a consensus conference in 2005 and was endorsed by Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) and the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR). These criteria represent a modification and adaptation of existing American College of Rheumatology and Chapel Hill criteria for vasculitis in adults.

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