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Advances in Therapies and Imaging for Systemic Vasculitis

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https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.310957
Original languageEnglish
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019

Abstract

Vasculitis is a systemic disease characterized by immune-mediated injury of blood vessels. Current treatments for vasculitis, such as glucocorticoids and alkylating agents, are associated with significant side effects. Furthermore, the management of both small and large vessel vasculitis is challenging because of a lack of robust markers of disease activity. Recent research has advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of both small and large vessel vasculitis, and this has led to the development of novel biologic therapies capable of targeting key cytokine and cellular effectors of the inflammatory cascade. In parallel, a diverse range of imaging modalities with the potential to monitor vessel inflammation are emerging. Continued expansion of combined structural and molecular imaging using positron emission tomography with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging may soon provide reliable longitudinal tracking of vascular inflammation. In addition, the emergence of radiotracers able to assess macrophage activation and immune checkpoint activity represents an exciting new frontier in imaging vascular inflammation. In the near future, these advances will allow more precise imaging of disease activity enabling clinicians to offer more targeted and individualized patient management.

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