Vasculitis Translational Research Program

imaging modalities and sequences are employed to assess vascular inflammation in patients with vasculitis

Peter Grayson, M.D.
Head, Vasculitis Translational Research Program
Phone: 301-827-9187

Research Interests

The goal of the Vasculitis Translational Research Program (VTRP) is to develop clinical and translational research initiatives across many types of systemic vasculitis. Vasculitis is a family of rare diseases characterized by inflammation within blood vessels. Tremendous progress over the last few decades has transformed vasculitis from frequently fatal into a chronic illness. However, treatment with potentially toxic medications, including glucocorticoids and other immune suppressants such as cyclophosphamide, is generally required to induce remission. Although most patients with vasculitis achieve remission with treatment, the majority of patients experience one or more relapses. Relapses often result in additional permanent organ damage and can be fatal. Currently, there are few known predictors of relapse in vasculitis, and there are no known predictors to reliably guide treatment decisions. The identification of novel therapeutic targets and of biomarkers that predict clinical outcomes to guide patient-specific therapeutic decisions is a major focus of the VTRP.

The VTRP was established in 2013 to evaluate patients with known vasculitis or with clinical suspicion of vasculitis. Diseases of interest include granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, Wegener’s), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA, Churg-Strauss), polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), giant cell arteritis (GCA), Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK), and idiopathic aortitis among other types of vasculitis.

Some of the objectives of the VTRP include:

  • Comprehensive clinical evaluation and treatment recommendations for all patients within the program
  • Novel imaging studies to assess for vascular inflammation in medium and large vessel vasculitis
  • Characterization of novel aspects of neutrophil biology in ANCA-associated vasculitis, in collaboration with the NIAMS Systemic Autoimmunity Branch (Kaplan Lab)
  • Discovery of novel biomarkers in peripheral blood and tissue through whole-genome gene expression profiling and other high-throughput techniques
  • Clinical trials of novel therapeutics in small, medium, and large vessel vasculitis
  • Collaboration with the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium

Contact Us

To participate in the VTRP or to refer a patient, please contact Elaine Novakovich for further details (by phone: 301-451-1450 or email).

Selected Publications

Grayson PC, Amudala NA, McAlear CA, Leduc RL, Shereff D, Richesson R, Fraenkel L, Merkel PA. Causal Attributions about Disease Onset and Relapse in Patients with Systemic Vasculitis. J Rheumatol. 2014 May;41(5):923-30. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.131096 PubMed Icon

Mooney J, Spalding N, Poland F, Grayson P, Leduc R, McAlear CA, Richesson RL, Shereff D, Merkel PA, Watts RA. The informational needs of patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis--development of an informational needs questionnaire. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed Icon

Kissin EY, Grayson PC, Cannella AC, Demarco PJ, Evangelisto A, Goyal J, Al Haj R, Higgs J, Malone DG, Nishio MJ, Tabechian D, Kaeley GS. Musculoskeletal ultrasound objective structured clinical examination: an assessment of the test. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Jan;66(1):2-6 PubMed Icon

Grayson PC, Cuthbertson D, Carette S, Hoffman GS, Khalidi NA, Koening CL, Langford CA, Maksimowicz-McKinnon K, Monach PA, Seo P, Specks U, Ytterberg SR, Merkel PA; Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. New features of disease after diagnosis in 6 forms of systemic vasculitis. J Rheumatol. 2013 Nov;40(11):1905-12. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.121473 PubMed Icon

Kissin EY, Garg A, Grayson PC, Dubreuil M, Vradii D, York M, Simms RW. Ultrasound assessment of subcutaneous compressibility: a potential adjunctive diagnostic tool in eosinophilic fasciitis. J Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Oct;19(7):382-5 PubMed Icon

Craven A, Robson J, Ponte C, Grayson PC, Suppiah R, Judge A, Watts R, Merkel PA, Luqmani RA. ACR/EULAR-endorsed study to develop Diagnostic and Classification Criteria for Vasculitis (DCVAS). Clin Exp Nephrol. 2013 Oct;17(5):619-21. doi: 10.1007/s10157-013-0854-0. PubMed Icon

Grayson PC, Amudala NA, McAlear CA, Leduc RL, Shereff D, Richesson R, Fraenkel L, Merkel PA. Illness perceptions and fatigue in systemic vasculitis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Jul 16 PubMed Icon

Grayson PC, Maksimowicz-McKinnon K, Clark TM, Tomasson G, Cuthbertson D, Carette S, Khalidi NA, Langford CA, Monach PA, Seo P, Warrington KJ, Ytterberg SR, Hoffman GS, Merkel PA; Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. Distribution of arterial lesions in Takayasu's arteritis and giant cell arteritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012 Aug;71(8):1329-34. PubMed Icon

Grayson PC, Tomasson G, Cuthbertson D, Carette S, Hoffman GS, Khalidi NA, Langford CA, McAlear CA, Monach PA, Seo P, Warrington KJ, Ytterberg SR, Merkel PA; Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. Association of vascular physical examination findings and arteriographic lesions in large vessel vasculitis. J Rheumatol. 2012 Feb;39(2):303-9. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.110652. PubMed Icon

Gibson N, Guermazi A, Clancy M, Niu J, Grayson P, Aliabadi P, Roemer F, Felson DT. Relation of hand enthesophytes with knee enthesopathy: is osteoarthritis related to a systemic enthesopathy? J Rheumatol. 2012 Feb;39(2):359-64. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.110718 PubMed Icon

See extended list of publications


Updated May 27, 2014