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It can be difficult to diagnose systemic vasculitis as the symptoms are similar to those caused by a number of other illnesses. Your doctor will speak to you, perform a physical examination, and may order tests to help establish a diagnosis.
The tests used to diagnose systemic vasculitis depend on the type of systemic vasculitis that is suspected and may include the following:
• Blood tests such as full blood count, kidney function and auto-antibodies• Urine tests• Imaging tests such as X-rays, computer tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) • Nerve testing• Lung function testing• Biopsy of skin, kidney or nasal cavity tissues or other locations affected by vasculitis. A biopsy is often required to be sure of the diagnosis before starting treatment.
Some of the symptoms of systemic vasculitis are also frequently seen among older people with cancers. Therefore, during the process of diagnosis for systemic vasculitis, the doctor may also speak to you about screening tests for cancers.