Multiple sclerosis and vasculitis

Hi. I have had Multiple Sclerosis for 8 yrs and last year had a TIA. My neuro is sending me for angiogram and CT scan on my neck and brain. He mentioned the possibility of Vasculitis.

Can anyone tell me if it's possible to have both MS and Vasculitis? I know they are both autoimmune diseases. As you can imagine I have to wait for my scan and even longer to see my neuro at the beginning of Oct. So am quite anxious.

7 Replies

  • I've not heard of the two diseases together. More commonly people can be misdiagnosed with MS and rediagnosed with cerebral/CNS vasculitis later. Or MS can be suspected, but cerebral/CNS vasculitis is diagnosed instead - as happened to me.

    The good news is that vasculitis can often be controlled effectively with drugs, and sometimes put into remission. Treatment tends to be longer-term than for MS, and heavier ongoing use of steroids and steroid-sparing immunosuppression drugs. But it's not necessarily that bad to get. Especially if you are already dealing with MS.

    Good luck! My cerebral vasculitis (since 1994 - 21 years now!) is very similar day to day to multiple sclerosis.

  • Thanks for the reply. Could I ask what type of symptoms you had at the beginning before your diagnosis and how it affects you now, did you have lesions showing on your mri's ? I have never heard of Vasculitis and know nothing about it. I'm just confused as to why after all these years of trying to get me on horrible MS disease modifying drugs my neuro is suspecting Vasculitis due to the TIA. After all I know of people with MS who have had strokes and have not been re diagnosed.

  • It's probably easiest for me if you read my story online at

    I describe my symptoms there - and how they evolved over time - in quite a lot of detail.

    Yes I had multiple lesions on my brain. They looked very MS-like, and my consultant back in 1997 was trying to decide between that and some other inflammatory disease of the brain.

  • yes, sadly, we have been contacted by those who have had a misdiagnosis of MS before finally being diagnosed with Vasculitis.

  • Neurology itself is slightly (understatement) falling behind when it comes to inflammatory CNS diseases generally but they are fast catching up, esp in the USA and UK in a much smaller scale. MS is not a single disease. Neurologists look at MS diagnosis criteria and see if you fit. Some of CNSV may well have very similar symptoms (and crossovers) with demyelinating features. I do hear that you don't necessarily have "lesions" in some people, just demyelination. Some people may well have V in any immune brain disease category (e.g. inflammatory brain condition) anyway as inflammatory brain diseases tend to be partly vasculitic in subset of patients. Crossovers, not just disease A or disease B, it could be both due to shared etiology and genetic factors in some unfortunate patients.

  • Thank you for all your comments and information. I guess I'll have to be patient and wait until I have the CT scan and angiogram and get the results. Wondering if there is a Vasculitis support group in my area of Berkshire?

  • Good luck and please keep us updated :-)

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