The often unspecific symptoms like myalgias, fever and weight loss at the onset of vasculitides are a frequent cause for a delay in diagnosis. Organspecific symptoms like hemoptysis, dyspnoea, epistaxis, edema and organ infarcts a present when organ dysfunction occurs as a result of vasculitis. Targeted serologic testing including antineutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA) and cryoglobulins allows early diagnosis of certain vasculitides. Modern imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, positron-emission tomography and ultrasound are cornerstones for an early diagnosis as they allow the detection of subclinical disease and are helpful in the identification of a site for biopsy. Bioptic proof of vasculitis is still the gold standard for diagnosis. Functionally relevant damage caused by systemic inflammatory disorders can by reduced or sometimes avoided by early initiation of treatment. This requires a correct diagnosis is made as early as possible.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)