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Posted at: Apr 2, 2018, 2:41 AM; last updated: Apr 2, 2018, 2:41 AM (IST)

25 per cent vasculitis patients get treatment for TB: Experts

Mohit Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1

As many as 25 per cent patients suffering from vasculitis in the country are being misdiagnosed and treated for tuberculosis. This was stated by Debashish Danda, professor and head, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, CMC Vellore, on the concluding day of the first international vasculitis symposium held at the PGIMER here on Sunday.

He said: “A majority of the patients who suffer from ANCA-associated vasculitis continue to receive treatment for TB due to lack of awareness about the disease. In fact, many patient even die due misdiagnose.”

He said that it was imperative to have the data of vasculitis patients in India. “Due to the absence of data, there is no awareness about the disease. Nearly 90 per cent of the physicians working at primary healthcare centres are unaware about vasculitis, which leads to misdiagnosis and death of patients in some cases,” said Dr Danda.

He said the government should offer subsidy on the treatment of vasculitis. “The initial cost of treatment is very high. Nearly Rs 1 lakh is spent just to begin the treatment which goes on throughout the patient’s life. The cost of vaccines is really high,” said Dr Danda, who is the president of the Indian Rheumatology Association.

“We have very few hospitals offering specialise training. The country is producing merely 20 rheumatologists in a year. Currently, we have probably 200 train rheumatologist in the country. Going by this pace, we will not meet the target in the next 50 years,” said Dr Danda.

“A majority of the patients keep on receiving the treatment for TB and other diseases. Only after reaching the institutes such as PGI, AIIMS and CMC Vallore, they learn about the disease,” added Dr Danda.

Dr Loic Guilleuin from the University of Paris said: “These diseases are rare. We do not know what leads to vasculitis, but we do know the treatment. As compared to South Asian countries, there is more awareness about the disease in Europe,” said RA Watts.

Prof Justin Mason delivered a talk on the role of imaging in assessing disease activity in takayasu arteritis, a rare form of vasculitis.

Dr Aman Sharma, Additional Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, said a majority of the doctors in the region were unaware about the problem and a very few centres are offering treatment. “That is the reason for sensitising doctors in Punjab, Himachal, Haryana and other neighbouring states about the disease,” said Dr Sharma.

About vasculitis

Vasculitis is a group of uncommon diseases/disorders which destroy blood vessels by inflammation. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain.

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