Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Cutaneous vasculitis

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella, Tim Nuttall, David Scarff

Introduction

  • Vasculitis is defined as a disease process characterized by inflammation of the blood vessel wall and subsequent destruction of vessels resulting in ischemia.
  • It is a rare disease in dogs.
  • Vasculitis is usually classified according to the histological inflammatory pattern, and most cases affect the small cutaneous vessels.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Any foreign antigen capable of triggering an immune response should be considered as a potential cause, including infectious organisms (bacterial, mycobacterial, viral, rickettsial, fungal), neoplasia, drugs and foods, and autoimmune diseases, eg lupus vasculitis.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Vasculitis is not a specific diagnosis.
  • It is important to investigate etiological possibilities.
  • 50% or more of cases appear to be idiopathic.

Pathophysiology

  • The most commonly accepted mechanism of vasculitis is type III hypersensitivity.
  • Soluble circulating antigen-antibody immune complexes (formed in antigen excess) become blocked in blood vessel endothelium.
  • Complement activation via the classic pathway follows and the C5a component of complement triggers polymorphonuclear cell recruitment to the vessel wall.
  • Leukocytes infiltrate the blood vessel wall and release lysosomal enzymes damaging the endothelial cells.
  • Fibrin deposition leads to thrombosis and tissue necrosis.

Timecourse

  • It depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the hypersensitivity developed by the individual.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Nichols P R, Morris D O & Beale K M (2001) A retrospective study of canine and feline cutaneous vasculitis. Vet Dermatol 12 (5), 255-264 PubMed.


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