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Coronary steal syndrome
Peripheral artery disease
Subclavian steal syndrome
Renal artery stenosis
Coarctation of the aorta
Polycystic kidney disease
Chronic venous insufficiency
Deep vein thrombosis
Human herpesvirus 8 (Kaposi sarcoma)
Transposition of the great vessels
Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
Tetralogy of Fallot
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Patent ductus arteriosus
Ventricular septal defect
Coarctation of the aorta
Atrial septal defect
Premature atrial contraction
Atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT)
Premature ventricular contraction
Long QT syndrome and Torsade de pointes
Bundle branch block
Pulseless electrical activity
Tricuspid valve disease
Pulmonary valve disease
Mitral valve disease
Aortic valve disease
Rheumatic heart disease
Pericarditis and pericardial effusion
Acyanotic congenital heart defects: Pathology review
Cyanotic congenital heart defects: Pathology review
Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis: Pathology review
Coronary artery disease: Pathology review
Peripheral artery disease: Pathology review
Valvular heart disease: Pathology review
Cardiomyopathies: Pathology review
Heart failure: Pathology review
Supraventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review
Ventricular arrhythmias: Pathology review
Heart blocks: Pathology review
Aortic dissections and aneurysms: Pathology review
Pericardial disease: Pathology review
Endocarditis: Pathology review
Hypertension: Pathology review
Shock: Pathology review
Vasculitis: Pathology review
Cardiac and vascular tumors: Pathology review
Dyslipidemias: Pathology review
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Behcet disease, is a rare disorder and most of the symptoms are thought to be a result of an autoimmune process involving the blood vessels, so it’s a type of vasculitis.
Among the family of disorders that cause vasculitis, Behcet’s is fairly unique because it causes inflammation in blood vessels of all sizes—small, medium, and large ones—on both the arterial and venous side of the circulation.
The underlying cause of Behcet’s is unknown, but there are a number of clues.
The biggest clue is that the human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, genes seem to play a role, and this is based on the fact that having a specific type—the HLA-B51 type—predisposes individuals to having Behcet disease.
HLA genes encode proteins found on the surface of immune cells, and play a key role in regulation of those cells, and since the disease is a result of an autoimmune process, it makes sense that the HLA-B51 proteins could be involved.
Another, clue is that an individual’s response to viral and bacterial infections might be involved.
For example, some individuals with Behcet’s generate relatively high levels of antibodies to Helicobacter pylori which may go on to damage blood vessel walls.
And this is an example of molecular mimicry where an antibody to a foreign pathogen starts to cross-react and damage the person’s own tissue.
Individuals with Behcet’s also seem to have a weakened innate immune system, a higher proportion of autoreactive T cells, and activated neutrophils which destroy healthy tissue, as well as altered levels of T helper cells and cytokines.
In summary, these clues span genetic and environmental factors as well as both the innate and adaptive immune system.
When looking at the blood vessels in particular, the classic finding is seeing lymphocytes in the walls of capillaries, veins, and arteries of all sizes, making them inflamed and boggy.
Sometimes the inflammation can get so severe that the tissue around the vessel starts to die off completely.
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