While doctors are not sure exactly what causes vasculitis, as of 2015, they think that several other conditions may trigger it, such as lupus, notes Mayo Clinic. They theorize that in some cases, immune system diseases such as lupus trigger the body to mistakenly attack blood vessel cells.
Vasculitis occurs when the blood vessels become inflamed, causing problems in vessel walls such as thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring, states Mayo Clinic. Because these changes may restrict blood flow, patients suffering from vasculitis can experience tissue and organ damage. The condition can affect just the skin or may involve several organs, and it can be of short- or long-term duration. Fever, headache, fatigue, night sweats, and general aches and pains are symptoms of vasculitis. Other possible triggers include infections, blood cancers and reactions to certain drugs.
Lupus is an inflammatory disease that affects areas of the body such as blood cells, kidneys, joints, skin and the brain, according to Mayo Clinic. The immune system attacks tissues and organs in people with lupus, and those suffering from the condition may suffer from skin lesions, fatigue, fevers and rashes on their faces that resemble butterflies. The inflammation caused by lupus leads to blood and blood vessel problems, such as anemia, increased risk of bleeding or clotting, and vasculitis.