Adult primary central nervous system vasculitis

Carlo Salvarani, Robert D Jr. Brown, Caterina Giannini, Gene G. Hunder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Primary central nervous system vasculitis is an uncommon disorder of unknown cause that is limited to the brain and spinal cord. The median age of onset is 50 years. The neurological manifestations are diverse, but commonly include headache, altered cognition, focal weakness, or stroke. Serological markers of inflammation are usually normal. Cerebrospinal fluid is abnormal in approximately 80-90 % of the cases. The diagnosis is unlikely in the presence of a normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. Biopsy of central nervous system tissue showing vasculitis is the only definitive test, however angiography has often been used for diagnosis even though it has only moderate sensitivity and specificity. The size of the vessels involved is varied and influences outcomes and response to treatment. Early recognition is important because treatment with corticosteroids, with or without cytotoxic drugs, may prevent serious outcomes. The differential diagnosis includes reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndromes and secondary cerebral vasculitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSystemic Vasculitides
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Status and Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319401362
ISBN (Print)9783319401348
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Adult primary central nervous system vasculitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this