Microscopic polyangiitis is a rare type of vasculitis that develops when inflammation affects blood vessels that interact with the lungs, kidneys, skin, nerves, and joints. The disease can cause many complications that damage and inhibit function at each location with which the blood vessels interact. While serious, microscopic polyangiitis is treatable.
Vasculitis refers to any blood vessel inflammation. As the inflammation progresses, the affected blood vessels can weaken and stretch, forming an aneurysm or becoming so thin that they rupture. They may also narrow, cutting off blood flow entirely. Microscopic polyangiitis affects a special antibody that attacks blood proteins, hence its classification as an ANCA-associated vasculitis.
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