August 4, 2015
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Wegener's Granulomatosis

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Wegener's granulomatosis facts

  • Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon disease that involves inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis).
  • Symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis include:
    • fatigue,
    • weight loss,
    • fevers,
    • shortness of breath,
    • bloody sputum,
    • joint pains, and
    • sinus inflammation.
  • Diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis is confirmed by detecting both abnormal cellular formations, called granulomas, and vasculitis.
  • Treatment is directed toward stopping the inflammation process by suppressing the immune system.

What is Wegener's granulomatosis?

Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon type of inflammation of small arteries and veins (vasculitis). It classically involves inflammation of the arteries that supply blood to the tissues of the lungs, the nasal passages(sinuses), and the kidneys. "Incomplete" forms exist that only involve one of these areas. When both lungs and kidneys are affected, the condition is sometimes referred to as generalized Wegener's granulomatosis. When only the lungs are involved, the condition is sometimes referred to as limited Wegener's granulomatosis. Wegener's granulomatosis is also referred to as granulomatosis with polyangiitis (abbreviated GPA). The terminology "granulomatosis with polyangiitis" highlights the two central pathologic features of the disease, granuloma formation and inflammation of blood vessels (angiitis or vasculitis).

Wegener's granulomatosis usually affects young or middle-aged adults. Although it is uncommon in children, it can affect people at any age. The cause of Wegener's granulomatosis is not known.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/20/2015



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