The causes of most vasculitides are currently unknown. It is clear, however, that the immune system plays a critical role in the tissue damage caused by vasculitis. The immune system, normally a protective organ of the body, becomes “hyperactive” in vasculitis because of some unknown stimulus, leading to inflammation within the body’s tissues. Inflammation in blood vessel walls leads to narrowing of the vessels. The resulting inadequate blood supply to a particular tissue or organ results in damage.
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