BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuGranulomatosis with polyangiitisFormerly: Wegener's granulomatosisGranulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare disorder in which blood vessels become inflamed. This leads to damage in major organs of the body. It was formerly known as Wegener's granulomatosis. Causes GPA mainly causes inflammation of blood vessels in the lungs, kidneys, nose, sinuses, and ears. This is called vasculitis or angiitis. Other areas may also be affected in some cases. The disease can be fatal and prompt treatment is important.In most cases, the exact cause is not known, but it is an autoimmune disorder. Rarely, vasculitis with positive antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) has been caused by several drugs including cocaine cut with levamisole, hydralazine, propylthiouracil, and minocycline.Autoimmune disorderAn autoimmune disorder occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. There are more than 80 types of aut...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article GPA is most common in middle-aged adults of northern European descent. It is rare in children. Symptoms Frequent sinusitis and bloody noses are the most common symptoms. Other early symptoms include a fever that has no clear cause, night sweats, fatigue, and a general ill feeling (malaise).FatigueFatigue is a feeling of weariness, tiredness, or lack of energy.Read Article Now Book Mark Article MalaiseMalaise is a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Other common symptoms may include:Chronic ear infections Pain, and sores around the opening of the nose Cough with or without blood in the sputum Chest pain and shortness of breath as the disease progresses Loss of appetite and weight loss Skin changes such as bruises and ulcers of the skin Kidney problems Bloody urine Eye problems ranging from mild conjunctivitis to severe swelling of the eyeConjunctivitisThe conjunctiva is a clear layer of tissue lining the eyelids and covering the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva becomes ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Less common symptoms include:Joint pain Weakness Abdominal pain Exams and Tests You may have a blood test that looks for ANCA proteins. These tests are done in most people with active GPA. However, this test is sometimes negative, even in people with the condition.A chest x-ray will be done to look for signs of lung disease.Urinalysis is done to look for signs of kidney disease such as protein and blood in the urine. Sometimes urine is collected over 24 hours to check how the kidneys are working.UrinalysisUrinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Standard blood tests include:Complete blood count (CBC) Comprehensive metabolic panel Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)Blood tests may be done to exclude other illnesses. These may include: Antinuclear antibodies Anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibodies C3 and C4, cryoglobulins, hepatitis serologies, HIV Liver function tests Tuberculosis screen and blood culturesA biopsy is sometimes needed to confirm the diagnosis and check how severe the disease is. A kidney biopsy is most commonly done. You may also have one of the following:BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Nasal mucosal biopsy Nasal mucosal biopsyA nasal mucosal biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue from the lining of the nose so that it can be checked for disease.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Open lung biopsy Open lung biopsyAn open lung biopsy is surgery to remove a small piece of tissue from the lung. The sample is then examined for cancer, infection, or lung disease....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Skin biopsy Upper airway biopsyUpper airway biopsyUpper airway biopsy is surgery to remove a small piece of tissue from the nose, mouth, and throat area. The tissue will be examined under the micros...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Other tests that may be done include:Sinus CT scan Sinus CT scanBone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones. Bone marrow aspiration is th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Chest CT scan Treatment Because of the potentially serious nature of GPA, you may be hospitalized. Once the diagnosis is made, you will probably be treated with high doses of glucocorticoids (such as prednisone). These are given through the vein for 3 to 5 days at the beginning of treatment. Prednisone is given along with other medicines that slow down the immune response.For milder disease other medicines that slow down the immune response such as methotrexate or azathioprine may be used.Common medicines for vasculitis include:Rituximab (Rituxan) Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) Methotrexate Azathioprine (Imuran) Mycophenolate (Cellcept or Myfortic)These medicines are effective in severe disease, but they may cause serious side effects. Most people with GPA are treated with ongoing medicines to prevent relapse for at least 12 to 24 months. Talk to your health care provider about your treatment plan.Other medicines used for GPA include:Medicines to prevent bone loss caused by prednisone Folic acid or folinic acid, if you are taking methotrexate Antibiotics to prevent lung infections Support Groups Support groups with others who suffer from similar diseases may help people with the condition and their families learn about the diseases and adjust to the changes associated with the treatment. Outlook (Prognosis) Without treatment, people with severe forms of this disease can die within a few months.With treatment, the outlook for most patients is good. Most people who receive corticosteroids and other medicines that slow the immune response get much better. Most people with GPA are treated with ongoing medicines to prevent relapse for at least 12 to 24 months. Possible Complications Complications most often occur when the disease is not treated. People with GPA develop tissue damage in the lungs, airways, and the kidneys. Kidney involvement may result in blood in the urine and kidney failure. Kidney disease can quickly get worse. Kidney function may not improve even when the condition is controlled by medicines.If untreated, kidney failure and possibly death occur in most cases.Other complications may include:Eye swelling Lung failure Coughing up blood Nasal septum perforation (hole inside the nose) Side effects from medicines used to treat the disease When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if:You develop chest pain and shortness of breath. You cough up blood. You have blood in your urine. You have other symptoms of this disorder. Prevention There is no known prevention.Open ReferencesReferencesGrau RG. Drug-induced vasculitis: New insights and a changing lineup of suspect. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2015;17(12):71. PMID: 26503355 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26503355/.Pagnoux C, Guillevin L; French Vasculitis Study Group; MAINRITSAN investigators. Rituximab or azathioprine maintenance in ANCA-associated vasculitis. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(4):386-387. PMID: 25607433 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25607433/.Stone JH. The systemic vasculitides. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 254.Yates M, Watts RA, Bajema IM, et al. EULAR/ERA-EDTA recommendations for the management of ANCA-associated vasculitis. [published correction appears in Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76(8):1480]. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016;75(9):1583-1594. PMID: 27338776 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27338776/.AllVideoImagesTogGranulomatosis with polyangiitis on the leg - illustration Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a disease that can affect many organ systems (systemic) and primarily causes lung (pulmonary) and kidney (renal) disease, but is also capable of affecting the skin.Granulomatosis with polyangiitis on the legillustrationRespiratory system - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory systemillustrationGranulomatosis with polyangiitis on the leg - illustration Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a disease that can affect many organ systems (systemic) and primarily causes lung (pulmonary) and kidney (renal) disease, but is also capable of affecting the skin.Granulomatosis with polyangiitis on the legillustrationRespiratory system - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory systemillustrationRelated Information Hypersensitivity vasculitis(Condition)Autoimmune disorders(Condition)Respiratory(Special Topic)Glomerulonephritis(Condition)Acute kidney failure(Condition) Review Date: 10/25/2021 Reviewed By: Diane M. Horowitz, MD, Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.