The frequency and histopathological characteristics of systemic vasculitis were studied in the autopsy material of 161 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Systemic vasculitis was observed in 36 case (22.4%). In percentage of all cases with systemic vasculitis, the most frequently involved organs were the heart (66.7%), skeletal muscles (54.8%), and peripheral nerves (52%). The skin was involved only in about one third of 36 cases (36%). In most cases the arterioles and the small arteries were affected by vasculitis. Three types of vasculitis (non specific, fibrinoid necrotic, granulomatous) could be observed simultaneously in different vessels or combined in the same vessel. Different stages of inflammation could be found simultaneously, reflecting the relapsing nature of vasculitis. The frequency, the severity, and the recurrence of vasculitis are different aspects of the same phenomenon running usually parallel to each other in different organs and on different vessels. Vasculitis lead to local ischaemia and regressive changes depend on the number and size of the involved vessels. Systemic vasculitis led to death in 19 of 36 cases. Vasculitis was detected clinically in 7 of 36 cases. Exitus lethalis depend on the localization of the involved vessels. Vasculitis in the heart and brain are more life threatening, than that of localized to the skin.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 21 1996|
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