What is vasculitis? | Circulatory System and Disease | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

What is vasculitis? | Circulatory System and Disease | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

– [Voiceover] So here
we have our vascular man and he’s got blood vessels that supply every part of the body. He’s got blood vessels
supplying the heart, blood vessels supplying the lungs, some supplying the kidney, the liver, the intestines, the skin, the nerves, really all over the place. So here’s a blood vessel I’m drawing, of course your blood vessels will be carrying blood, but they also carry nutrients and oxygen and all sorts of proteins. Now what happens if these
blood vessels get damaged, or inflamed? What if the inside of the wall of the blood vessel gets very inflamed? Well intuitively it makes sense, blood will not be able to
pass as well through here and be delivered to the different organs. You know the intestines,
the livers, the lung. All of the organs of the body need blood and need nutrients. This damage is precisely what happens in the disease known as Vasculitis. Vasculitis is damage of blood vessels and inflammation of blood vessels. Itis means inflammation and vascul means vasculature
or blood vessels. Essentially this damage is
caused by the immune system. White blood cells mistakenly
release small molecules that can damage the blood vessels. Essentially the immune
system makes a mistake and thinks that blood vessels are foreign. So Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, you might be thinking if I destroy all my blood vessels, how is that compatible with life? Well there are different
types of vasculitides, the plural for vasculitis and these different types
might affect different parts of the body. For example one type of
vasculitis might affect the lungs and the kidneys only. Another type might affect
the intestines, the kidney, the heart and the lungs and still another type might only affect the big blood vessels that
come out of the heart. The different organs affected in patients lead to the different
symptoms that you might see. For example loss of
blood flow and nutrients to the heart tissue
means heart cell death, this is known as a heart attack and this might cause
symptoms such as chest pain. The severity of symptoms
might also be different, so for example with abdominal pain a patient might have a range from a small amount of blood in their stool to full on bowel perforation. This all depends on how severely the blood vessels are damaged. Now along with these local symptoms patients might also
experience general symptoms such as night sweats or fever, so there’s a little
thermometer right here, as the patient might have a fever or the patient might have chills or generalized muscle aches, or they may also experience lethargy or a feeling of being very tired. This all comes from what’s
causing this problem, remember white blood cells are releasing little immune molecules, these immune molecules
can travel down to the rest of the body. These immune molecules are normally used to fight off pathogens and so a patient might feel like they have a general illness or a virus. Now let’s take a step back. Why are only certain
types of vessels affected in vasculitis? The different types of
vessels that are affected usually depends on the
size of those blood vessels and so vasculitis has been classified into three different categories. Large vessel vasculitis, Medium vessel vasculitis and Small vessel vasculitis. Here I’ll draw a blood vessel to show a little bit
about what’s going on. Here let me draw this large blood vessel and I’ve got the blood vessel wall and the outside and the
inside of the blood vessel, out and in, and of course on the
inside you have the things I have mentioned before. Blood, oxygen, nutrients, that all travel through your blood vessels
like water through pipes. Now the purpose of large blood vessels is to get blood distributed quickly through the body to where it needs to go. So if we have inflammation and damage of the blood vessel wall so it’s bulging out from
inflammation, swelling, scaring and then repeating that process, the blood trying to pass
through can’t do so effectively and so there’s decreased blood flow and also after this constriction
you’ll see decreased blood pressure as well. And now a physician
listening over the skin using a stethoscope may
actually hear this blockage, it’s the same thing that happens when you put pressure on a hose. If you put a kink in the hose, not only will water stop
flowing through as quickly but also if you listen at the kink you can hear that blood
trying to rush through and that’s the same thing
the physician hears. This is known as a bruit and if the physician feels the area they may also feel what’s called thrill, this feeling of blood rushing through. Now for medium sized blood vessels . When scaring occurs for these vessels it can potentially
block flow all together. This leads to blood cells kind of getting stuck behind the blockage
and little proteins in the blood known as clotting proteins can form a clot and
completely stop blood flow. Along with clot formation, you can also see the blood
vessel wall bulge out. This is due to increased pressure, the blood has nowhere
to go so it pushes up against the walls. And since medium sized blood
vessel walls are thinner they are prone to this bulging. It’s kind of like when
you take a water balloon and squeeze it on one area, all the water bulges to
one side of the wall. The bulging and weakening
of the blood vessel walls are known as aneurysms. The most fear complication
from aneurysms is rupture, leading to blood spilling
out of the blood vessels. Last of all the final
classification of blood vessels are small blood vessels. And by small I mean
microscopic so we’ve got blood cells marching
through nearly single file and a very thin blood vessel wall. You can imagine that damage to this wall can lead to breakage of the
blood vessel really easily and depending on where the blood vessel is that’s where you might see symptoms. For example if the small blood
vessels are in the intestines you might see bloody stool. If the blood vessels are in the kidneys you might see bloody urine. If the blood vessels
are just under the skin you might actually see a rash that kind of gives a dotted pattern
where all these different small little blood vessels have ruptured. So in general the symptoms
you see in vaculitis depends on where the blood vessels are that are affected, what
size they are and how sever the damage is.

23 Replies to “What is vasculitis? | Circulatory System and Disease | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy”

  1. Thank you so much for making this video. I was diagnosed with vasculitis oin December of 2013, after several months of misdiagnosis. I went to 5 different specialty doctors before landing in a pediactric rhemoatology doctor's office at IU Health in Carmel, Indiana. My vasculitis affects my small blood vessels in my ankles and feet and in my right wrist and hand. I understood what my illness was, but this video will help me explain it to people much better. 
    For whatever reason, I was not aware that fatigue was a symptom of vasculitis, and that is a relief to me. Last year around this time, I went through some panick attacks triggered by the unbearable pain I was in from my untreated blood vessels in my ankles, not to mention I was beyond fatigued. I was very tired, and I was very scared. 
    Over the spring and summer, while I recieved treatment with methotrexate, prednisone, and a variety of other medications, I felt great! I was rarely fatigued. Now that it's getting cold where I live, I've noticed that I've been needing to put on more nitroglycerin cream than usual to keep my toes from feeling numb. It's a relief to realize that feeling tired and ill are a part of this illness, because I've been experiencing that and I've been worried. Once again, thank you for making this video and providing a platform to share my story!

  2. was just diagnosed February of 2016. Before that I'd never heard of vasculitis. So unfortunately I'm still trying to understand what's happening. Thanks to this informative presentation though I feel like I understand a little bit better. Thanks. And good luck to you other vasculitis sufferers out there

  3. I'm 14 and was diagnosed with Bergers disease and ANCA vasculitis, both effecting my kidneys, two years ago and am working towards remission. This video was very informative!

  4. I'm researching the best treatment for reducing kidney disease naturally and discovered a great resource at Hollistic heal plan (look it up on google)

  5. Thank you for this video. I've been having vasculitis at the soles of my feet since I was a child and I never dared to look up information because there's heavy imagery in most educational videos and I wanted to avoid that. This video explains the disease very well without showing upsetting pictures, so thank you for that!

  6. My daughter 13 years old is diagnostic with vasculitis..my question is ….how can to stop the blood leak??.. or is no medication for it??

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