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Vasculitis” is a general term for inflammation of the blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries.
With inflammation -- a process that causes swelling and irritation -- blood vessels may become narrow or even blocked. Inflammation can also weaken blood vessel walls..
he most common form of vasculitis in children is Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP), which affects blood vessels in the skin, intestines and often the kidneys.
The second most common form in children is Kawasaki disease, which affects blood vessels in many parts of the body, often those around the heart.
HSP, Kawasaki disease and other forms of vasculitis are autoimmune illnesses, meaning that -- for reasons doctors don’t yet fully understand -- the immune system is mistakenly attacking the body itself.