CNS Vasculitis: an Approach to Differential Diagnosis and Management
- Current Rheumatology Reports
Authors: Kevin Byram, Rula A. Hajj-Ali, Leonard Calabrese
Publisher: Springer US
Purpose of Review
The goal of this review is to provide an up-to-date approach to diagnosis and management of patients with central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis.
Challenges in diagnosis of CNS vasculitis still exist due to the broad differential diagnosis and generally nonspecific initial clinical manifestations. Differentiation between primary angiitis of the CNS (PACNS) and secondary causes is important in guiding management. Recent longitudinal cohort studies have improved our understanding of PACNS. Advances in neuroimaging and molecular testing have enhanced diagnostic decision-making. Therapy remains largely empiric, guided by observational data. Despite the limited use of targeted therapies, glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide remain the mainstays of therapy in PACNS.
Securing a diagnosis through a careful, team-based approach with emphasis on ruling out possible mimics is paramount in the management of patients with CNS vasculitis.