Vasculitis UK
5,427 members5,001 posts

RV and Stroke

I have Rheumatoid Vasculitis, a byproduct of having Rheumatoid Arthritis, and suffered a mild stroke. There was no bleed on the brain, nor any furry arteries. They've said it was most likely stress, but I wonder whether having vasculitis and it affecting small blood vessels could have been a factor - my GP didn't think so. Would welcome any thoughts here please. Thank you.


8 Replies

Hi Nina

This might not be the same as you but just wondering if your platelets are high? They have told me that could cause strokes etc.

The reason being that I am currently undergoing tests at the haematology department. My platelets have been high since diagnosis, they have only been normal once in 6 years. But to be fair they can't tell if that is normal for me as there are no records before that.

I am currently waiting for the results of a bone marrow biopsy to see what is going on. They won't be anymore specific until the results are back as they say it would be guess work which is fair enough. I saw a hematologist at the beginning and she said it was the medication causing it but now I am only on azathioprine and this consultant says that would lower platelets. So just playing the waiting game.

Basically I can't tell you if it is related to vasculitis or not yet but thinking about it your GP would have noticed from your full blood count. Perhaps someone else may have an answer.

Good luck and try not to worry as stress does make things worse. Easier said than done but I try to do the mindfulness thing to stay calm.


Thank you for taking the time to reply - I have no idea re platelets, will check with GP when I see him next week. Best wishes. x


Cerebral vasculitis as a result of Rheumatois vasculitis (RV) is a very rare occurrence. It is most likely caused by the vasculitis narrowing the small blood vessels and depriving the brain of necessary blood. The only case I am aware of involved a person who had a focal lobe stroke but was treated and survived.


Thank you.


I have always been under the impression that any form of vasculitis increases the risk for stroke - the inflammation narrows the lumen which increases the risk of blockages, sometimes the lumen is closed altogether which obviously prevents blood flow.

You say a "mild stroke" - by that do you mean a TIA (transient ischaemic attack)? The definition is that all symptoms resolve within a short period of time. And very often it is impossible to see exactly what it was that caused the blockage/stoppage of blood flow. What tests did they do to tell you there were "no furry arteries"? Come to that - why did it need to be "furry arteries" - if a very small vessel is swollen so the lumen is almost closed even a few blood cells can be enough to block it.

Telling you not to worry is like telling the sun not to shine - but do try! They will keep a close eye n you I imagine now.

1 like

Thank you for your replying. I wasn't able to tell them about the vasculitis until well after the event. Although I work there, it isn't my local hospital nor where I am treated. I need to speak to my rheumatologist and let her know what has happened. Nina


I have had the same and am sure you know Vasculitis causes inflammation and this can happen anywhere in the body and they think it happens in the stem of the brain and therefore cutting/reducing the oxygen to the brain. i have had many now and it got to a point that under 36 hours we monitor then at home and ensure they do not get stronger and if over 36 hours go to A&E but you need the guidance from your doctors consultants but this is what we do as I feel it is a waste of Ambulances,A&E, Scans that show no bleed, staffing. I end up at St.Georges and sent to a ward and once the Neurology team have seen me they kick you out as you are not a case they are looking for or have beds for. I prefer to be at home, less bugs from hospitals as we have our immune system reduce and easier for infection. Hope this may help. Recovering from one, if you need any ideas, I will give you some hints how I get the brain to improve - you would only slightly know that I have them.


Thank you for replying. I need to speak to my rheumatologist and let her know that this has happened. Nina


You may also like...