may be impaired, resulting in
(blue skin colour) and breathing diffi-
culty on exertion.
An isolated fistula that is causing
symptoms can often be cut away and
the ends of the blood vessels stitched
closed. However, if there are many fistu-
las, surgery is not practicable.
Inflammation of an artery wall, which
causes narrowing or complete blockage
of the affected artery reduced blood
flow, and, in some cases,
and tissue damage.
affects the limbs, causing pain, numb-
ness, and, in severe cases,
(in which the immune system
attacks the body’s own tissues), can
affect arteries in any part of the body,
especially the heart and kidneys.
affects arteries in the scalp
STRUCTURE OF AN ARTERY
The walls of an artery consist ofthree
layers: a smooth inner lining, a thick,
muscular, elastic middle layer, and a
tough, fibrous outer covering. Veins
have thinner walls, and most of them
over the temples and may also affect the
arteritis is thought to be an autoim-
mune disorder. This rare type of arteritis
involves the arteries that branch from
into the neck and arms.
A blood vessel that carries blood away
Systemic arteries carry
blood that has been pumped from the
left ventricle (lower chamber) of the
heart to all other parts of the body
except the lungs. The largest systemic
artery is the
which emerges from
the left ventricle; other major systemic
arteries branch off from the aorta. The
pulmonary arteries carry blood from
the right ventricle to the lungs.
Arteries are tubes with thick, elastic,
muscular walls able to withstand the
high pressure of blood flow, to which
they are subjected on each heartbeat. The
structure of arteries helps to even out
the peaks and troughs of blood pressure
caused by the heartbeat, so that the
blood is flowing at a relatively constant
pressure by the time it reaches the
smaller blood vessels
branch directly off the arteries and con-
nect to the even smaller
pulmonary arteries are thinner-walled
blood at a lower pressure.
arteries, disorders of.)
Pain in the joints or in a single joint.
Inflammation of one or more joints
that is characterized by pain, swelling,
and stiffness. Arthritis can vary in seve-
rity from a mild ache and joint stiffness
to severe pain and, subsequently, de-
formity of the joints.
TYPES AND CAUSES
There are several different types of
arthritis, each having different charac-
teristics. The most common type is
which most often involves
the knees, hips, and hands. It usually
affects middle-aged and older people
because it results principally from wear
and tear on the joints.
is a form of osteoarthritis that
affects the joints in the neck.
is a damaging
(in which the immune
Arthritis in the hands
The joints in the hands of a person suffering from
rheumatoid arthritis are painful, swollen, and stiff.
In severe cases, the joints become deformed.
system attacks the body’s own tissues)
that causes inflammation in the joints
and other body tissues such as the peri-
cardium (the membrane covering the
heart), the lungs, and the eyes. The dis-
order has different effects in children
juvenile chronic arthritis).
is another per-
sistent type of arthritis that initially
affects the spine and the joints between
the base of the spine and the pelvis.
Other tissues, such as the eyes, may
also be affected. Eventually, the disorder
may cause the vertebrae (the bones of
the spine) to fuse.
typically develops in
susceptible people following an infec-
tion, most commonly of the genital
tract or intestines.
are types of
arthritis in which crystals are deposited
in a joint, causing swelling and pain.
is a relatively rare con-
dition that can develop when infection
enters a joint either through a wound
or from the bloodstream.
Diagnosis of particular types of arthritis
is made from
and, in some
cases, microscopic examination of fluid
from the affected joint.
technique that produces cross-sectional
or three-dimensional images of body
structures) can indicate the type and
extent of joint damage.
and exercises can help to
minimize the effects of arthritis, and
there are specific treatments for certain
for septic arth-
ritis, for example).
In severe cases, one or more of the
diseased joints may require