Vasculitis services offered in Cranston, RI

Vasculitis refers to several diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. It can occur at any time but most commonly affects people 50 and older. At RI Rheumatology, in Cranston, Rhode Island, triple-board-certified rheumatologist and internal medicine physician Deepan Dalal MD, MPH, RhMSUS, and his team specialize in diagnosing and treating various types of vasculitis. Call RI Rheumatology to request a consultation, or book your appointment online today.

What causes vasculitis?

Experts aren’t sure what causes vasculitis, but several things are thought to contribute, including genetics and immune problems. For example, underlying medical conditions like infections, blood cancer, or autoimmune diseases can trigger your immune system to attack your blood vessel cells by mistake.

There are more than half a dozen types of vasculitis. Some are curable and last for a few weeks or months. But others are chronic and affect multiple organs or body systems. If you’re concerned about the risk of vasculitis, contact RI Rheumatology today.

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

Vasculitis symptoms include the following:

  • General aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Fever

If you have a type of vasculitis that affects a specific organ or body system, you might experience more localized symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sores on your skin, or blood in your stool. 

Should I see a vasculitis specialist?

Make an appointment with the RI Rheumatology team if you have any symptoms of vasculitis that worry you. It’s better to get screened than to wait. Certain types of vasculitis progress rapidly and cause permanent damage. Early diagnosis is key to protecting your health and well-being.

How is vasculitis diagnosed?

Your RI Rheumatology provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. Then, they order a series of diagnostic tests, including:

Blood work

This test analyzes a blood sample for signs of inflammation, like high levels of C-reactive protein. If your sample contains certain antibodies –– proteins produced by your immune system, it can indicate vasculitis.

X-rays of the blood vessels (angiography)

During this procedure, your provider injects a colored dye into a large artery or vein. Then, they take a series of X-rays. The dye makes the outlines of your blood vessels visible and can confirm or rule out blood vessel inflammation.


If X-rays and bloodwork don’t provide enough insight to diagnose, your provider collects a biopsy. They remove a small tissue sample and look at it under a microscope for signs of vasculitis.

How is vasculitis treated?

The RI Rheumatology team treats vasculitis using a combination of prescription medication and healthy lifestyle changes. Depending on the type of vasculitis you have, they might recommend:

  • Corticosteroids to control inflammation
  • Drugs that reduce swelling
  • Biologic infusions
  • Routine checkups and bloodwork

At first, it may take some trial and error to determine the type of treatment that will most benefit you.

Call RI Rheumatology to explore the treatment options for vasculitis, or book your appointment online today.