Wegener's Granulomatosis

Author: Jo Frowde. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
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Wegeners Granulomatosis KaleidoscopeWegener's Granulomatosis (WG) is a type of vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) caused by an abnormal amount of the antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) circulating in the blood. The ANCAs cause an autoimmune attack on the small and medium-size blood vessels. This can damage vital organs and become life threatening. Like many autoimmune diseases, WG may require immunosuppression. (Also see Vasculitis and ANCAs)

Increased Risk of Autoimmune Disease in Families with Wegener's Granulomatosis (WG). Relatives of patients with WG are at increased risk of being diagnosed with other autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, indicating shared susceptibility between WG and other autoimmune/ inflammatory disease. PubMed, J Rheumatol, [2010].

Systemic autoimmune diseases form a diverse group which includes: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), scleroderma, dermato-polymyositis, Wegener's granulomatosis, Sjogren's Syndrome. The frequency and extent of cardiac pathology positively correlated with the detection of antiphospholipid antibodies. No such relationship was observed in patients with the presence of very high titers of antinuclear antibodies (anti-dsDNA). PubMed, Pol Arch Med Wewn, [2003].


Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener's Granulomatosis). This is an uncommon disorder that causes inflammation of your blood vessels, which in turn restricts blood flow to various organs. Most commonly Wegener's granulomatosis affects your kidneys, lungs and upper respiratory tract. The restricted blood flow to these organs can damage them. Mayo Clinic.


Gingival hyperplasia being the first sign of Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). A case of WG that was first diagnosed on oral gingival mucosa emphasizes the importance to recognize the oral manifestation of WG to get proper medication and avoid serious systemic tissue damage. PubMed, Int J Clin Exp Med, 2014 Aug 15;7(8):2373-6.

A presentation of cerebritis secondary to granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) (wegener). GPA is a rare and treatable differential diagnosis for confused patients with acute or subacute neurological features and unusual MRI findings. PubMed, Case Rep Neurol Med, 2014;2014:914530.

Ischemic stroke as the first manifestation of Wegener's granulomatosis. Wegener's granulomatosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ischemic stroke even in the absence of extraneurological involvement. PubMed, Rev Med Interne, 2012 Feb;33(2):e6-9. (Also see Cardiac Involvement)


Successful use of Rituximab in a patient with recalcitrant multisystemic eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). Few cases are reported in the literature about the role of Rituximab in EGPA, of which only one described retinal artery occlusion as a presentation of a recently treated patient with EGPA. PubMed, BMJ Case Rep, 05/15/2015. (Also see Biologic Agents)

(Case Report) Rituximab (RTX) for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis with severe vasculitic neuropathy: review of current clinical evidence. RTX seems to be effective in cases of severe EGPA refractory to standard of care immunosuppressive treatment, although support comes from case reports and non-controlled studies. PubMed, Semin Arthritis Rheum. (Also see Biologic Agents)


Genetic Susceptibility to ANCA-Associated Vasculitis (AAV): State of the Art. In this review, the results of the genetic studies in AAV are summarized and discussed. PubMed, Front Immunol, 2014 Nov 17;5:577.


Central nervous system (CNS) involvement of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA): clinical-radiological presentation distinguishes different outcomes. The clinical-radiological phenotype distinguished different long-term outcomes in patients with GPA and CNS involvement. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2015 Mar;54(3):424-32.

Mononeuritis multiplex predicts the need for immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory drugs for EGPA, PAN and MPA patients without poor-prognosis factors. These findings support prospective evaluation of initial immunosuppressant use combined with CS to prevent treatment failure, relapses and sequelae in FFS=0 patients with mononeuritis multiplex at diagnosis. PubMed, Autoimmun Rev, 2014 Sep;13(9):945-53.


In situ evidence of pulmonary endothelial activation in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). These observations are an evidence of in situ pulmonary vascular endothelial activation in lesions of GPA and SScl, adding information to the pathogenic knowledge of both diseases. PubMed, Lung, 2015 Jun;193(3):355-9.

Cardiac Involvement in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA). Cardiac involvement in GPA is rare and heterogeneous and was not associated with a higher rate of relapse or premature death. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 05/01/2015. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Personal Stories

Luca: Difficult Diagnosis, Incomplete (Italy) These are my symptoms: joint pain, bone pain, fever, the inside of my mouth is irritated, as if I had burned it…

(Italiano) Luca: Dificulta Diagnosa Incompleta (Italia) Ma io stó davvero male e non so piú che fare, vivo davvero male. Addirittura mi hanno detto che sono sintomi immaginari, ma non é cosí…

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