View Full Version : Tests for Vasculitis?

06-12-2007, 07:44 AM
Does anyone know what tests can be done for vasculitis? I have had red spots that show up on my legs seemingly randomly for about 10 years (actually a little over). Many doctors have seen them, but no one could diagnose them. I did not know what it was, but when I was diagnosed with SLE and looked up other symptoms, I found pictures that looked exactly the same. The treatments, however, are prednisone or plaquenil. I have been on both since beginning my rheumatologic journey and I haven't had the "rash." The only way I've heard of is to get a skin biopsy of the rash, so I'm wondering, now that I seem to inadvertently be treating the rash is there a way other than this to detect vasculitis.

06-13-2007, 09:04 AM
I had an ultrasound done on my legs because I stayed so swollen and even lasix didnt make the swelling go away so he was checking for clots. After getting that done he came back and told me that I had chronic vasculitis. Not sure if theres any other tests but the doplar study he did on me must have showed him something.

Good luck with everything!

06-13-2007, 10:49 AM
I have vasculitis, too--and it was diagnosed with physical examination (bleeding under the skin, petachia, etc) along with some blood tests (not sure what he ran)...
Mine is only "contained" with the plaquenil. Now doc thinks my sinuses are involved (with vasculitis) and two years ago there was discussion about my heart muscle, too.
When I was first diagnosed with vasculitis, I wrote it off as being a "no biggie deal"... but I have since found out that it's nothing to ignore.
What does your doc say?

06-14-2007, 07:42 AM
So my rheumy seems to be completely unconcerned. My hematologist sent me to a dermatologist and the dermatologist said come back when you have the rash. My GP and everyone in his office has seen them, the problem is by the time they can get me into a dermatologist the spots have faded too much for them to test through skin biopsy. They do not blanch when you push on them. They are just a vivid red made more so by my fair complexion. It isn't that I've ignored them. They are really horrific looking and my legs swell up and I feel like hell. We (my GP who I love, my husband and I) have all treated it as a mystery illness, but my hematologist has acted very very concerned about it. The problem is like I said, I don't have the rash. This is absolutely the longest I have gone in ten years without having these red spots (sometimes pin head sized, sometimes the size of quarters or larger) on my legs.

I have a GP appointment on Monday and I will talk to him about the blood tests and the ultrasound. Thank you both for responding. I'll let you know what happens!

06-14-2007, 10:23 AM
You're most welcome and please do keep us informed. I hope everything turns out for the best and you get some answers! :)

06-19-2007, 04:00 AM
Are these dots really red and really small (bigger then pin prick size though) and they take forever to fade??? I have been getting more and more of them... The rheumie didn't even say anything when I pointed out a cluster of them out to him- but they had faded a bit in the last week or so.

06-19-2007, 06:30 AM
Yes. Mine start out vivid red then eventually fade to purple and then just look like fading bruises.

06-19-2007, 03:13 PM
My GP just did a coagulation panel on those- as it essentially was a peticial rash and he thought it may be related to clotting. They came back normal. He thought at the time it was related to the *one* asprin I had and told me not to take it any more. I have had it without taking any asprin though. I'm getting a few slightly bigger ones now that are really red and look less like little pinprick bruises now- they are still heaps smaller then the pictures I saw using google image surch on vasculitis so whether it is the same thing or not- I don't know.
When they fade they do go the same colours as bruises though- through the purples and yellows (although at yellow it is barely visable as I have light skin and they are small).

Sorry- in the end I am as much in the dark as you are. :?

06-23-2007, 07:05 PM
A little guidance(maybe) :D I'm brand new to this whole Lupus thing, and as I'm reading a couple of posts, am seeing how little I really know about it, but THIS, I may be able to give you some direction on.

These tiny, blood red colored, pin head sized spots under the skin- the kind that don't go away if you press or rub the skin that's over them, are petechiae- or petechial hemorraghes. Basically, it's where the vessels burst beneath the skin, and the blood spills out, pooling a little at the surface.

Different types of vasculitis cause petechial hemorraghing, generally found on the ankles/feet/lower leg or hands/wrists/lower arms, more dense towards the ankle/wrist joint and more sparse the closer to your torso.

Something else that causes petchiael hemorraghing? Brace yourself, it's morbid, but when someone dies of strangulation, they get petechiae around their eyes. I had them around my eyes after giving birth, from straining. And....a hicky is the result of petechial hemorraghing caused by compressing small areas on the surface of the skin together, causing the vessels/capillaries to bust underneath, bleeding just beneath the epidermal layer of skin.

Do your feet/hands also turn dark purple? Do you ever lose sensation in them?

The longer I sit, the more of my feet/legs I lose feeling in. Once I lie flat, they turn a normal color, and sensation gradually comes back.

I just started getting the petechiae on my hands this week, and have had it on my feet for only a couple of months.

06-24-2007, 03:56 AM
Gradengail- thanks.

For me- In the past it was always at my periphery (mainly ankles/legs)- but at the moment they are really clustered around my belly button and some more around my upper arms.

Is the losing sensation in your feet/legs supposed to be related to that?? Mine have been shocking- just sit down for 5 minutes and it is like they go to sleep. Before I get up I have learned to move around a lot to try and get some feeling back. When I get up it *hurts*, just like I have been sitting on my legs wrong. It is getting to rediculous levels.


06-24-2007, 09:39 AM
Glad I could be of a little help- maybe you guys could help ME out some.

Yes! The loss of sensation is related. When I decided something was REALLY wrong w/ me, after the first 3 mos. of one bizarre symptom after another, was the day that I sat at the computer for less than 10 min., and when I went to get up, I fell right back in the floor. I thought I'd tripped over the leg of the chair or something(I'm graceful like that). I didn't even realize that I had absolutely NO feeling in my legs/feet at all, until I twice, tried to stand again.

I get terrible pains in my feet when I lie down at night sometimes- and they feel as if bugs are crawling on them. This is just the nerves coming back to life, as the blood flow begins to reoxygenate the nerve endings.

Also, some days, when I stand, it feels like my knees aren't strong enough to support me, and my legs feel like their full of cement.

Also, I forgot to mention- I did a Google image search for them & got some ridiculous photos of EXTREME cases. Mine are not like that either.