Mimics of Vasculitis

Ernest Maningding; Tanaz A. Kermani


Rheumatology. 2021;60(1):34-47. 

In This Article


The appropriate evaluation of suspected vasculitis includes consideration of its mimics. A systematic approach to mimics based on the anatomic size of the blood vessels affected can be useful. Important aetiologies that can mimic vasculitis are infections, vasculopathies and other non-inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis and thrombotic conditions. Rare aetiologies like myxoma and intravascular lymphoma should also be considered in certain circumstances. It is important to follow patients diagnosed with vasculitis over time and strongly reconsider mimics in patients treated for vasculitis who do not respond to immunosuppressive therapy. Recognition of the clinical presentation of the mimics, organs/vessels that may be affected and features that can distinguish it from vasculitis can help avoid the pitfalls of incorrectly mistaking a mimic for vasculitis.