Ashton Kutcher’s Vasculitis: What Caused It, and Can It Be Cured? A Harvard Doctor’s Take

Updated: Aug. 09, 2022

Ashton Kutcher said his blood vessel issue affected his vision, equilibrium, and more.

The news world buzzed Tuesday after Ashton Kutcher casually took to Twitter to announce that around 2019, he’d suffered from a health issue termed “vasculitis.” The American Vasculitis Association reports that nearly 230,000 Americans experience this condition. Kutcher said his particular case of vasculitis involved “impairments” with hearing, vision, and balance issues right after. “I fully recovered. All good. Moving on,” the 44-year-old actor-producer said in his tweet.

The revelation, of course, has caused Ashton Kutcher fans to ask: What is vasculitis? What might have caused it? And can it indeed be cured? Arun Chandran, MD, an internal medicine physician and instructor to resident physicians at Harvard Medical School, spoke with The Healthy to provide answers to these questions about vasculitis symptoms, causes and potential cures.

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What is vasculitis?

To define vasculitis, Dr. Chandran said: “Vasculitis is a group of autoimmune disorders where the body attacks blood vessels and capillaries, causing inflammation of the blood vessels. It can reduce blood supply to important organs, causing clots or aneurysms, [which can lead to] organ damage.”

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What causes vasculitis?

Said Dr. Chandran: “Risk factors include age, family history, infections like hepatitis B and C and other auto immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma.”

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Can a patient recover from vasculitis?

To Ashton Kutcher’s point, “I fully recovered”—is this possible? Is vasculitis a condition from which a person can be fully cured?

“Yes,” Dr. Chandran says. “Depending on the type of vasculitis, it can be self-limiting.” (This means the illness can go away on its own.) However, Dr. Chandran added, “It could also be a chronic illness with flareups or remissions.”

How do you cure vasculitis?

Dr. Chandran says treatment for vasculities “usually includes immunosuppressive agents, like steroids or anti-cancer medications.”

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