Objective: To assess and characterise the risk of bladder cancer, and its relation to cyclophosphamide, in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis.
Methods: In the population based, nationwide Swedish Inpatient Register a cohort of 1065 patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, 1969–95, was identified. Through linkage with the Swedish Cancer Register, all subjects in this cohort diagnosed with bladder cancer were identified. Nested within the cohort, a matched case-control study was performed to estimate the association between cyclophosphamide and bladder cancer using odds ratios (ORs) as relative risk. In the cohort the cumulative risk of bladder cancer after Wegener's granulomatosis, and the relative prevalence of a history of bladder cancer at the time of diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis, were also estimated.
Results: The median cumulative doses of cyclophosphamide among cases (n = 11) and controls (n = 25) were 113 g and 25 g, respectively. The risk of bladder cancer doubled for every 10 g increment in cyclophosphamide (OR = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8 to 4.9). Treatment duration longer than 1 year was associated with an eightfold increased risk (OR = 7.7, 95% CI 0.9 to 69). The absolute risk for bladder cancer in the cohort reached 10% 16 years after diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis, and a history of bladder cancer was (non-significantly) twice as common as expected at the time of diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis.
Conclusion: The results indicate a dose-response relationship between cyclophosphamide and the risk of bladder cancer, high cumulative risks in the entire cohort, and also the possibility of risk factors operating even before Wegener's granulomatosis.
To examine the association of previously identified autoimmune disease susceptibility loci with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis), and determine whether genetic susceptibility profiles of other autoimmune diseases are associated with GPA
Genetic data from two cohorts were meta-analyzed. Genotypes for 168 previously identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with susceptibility to different autoimmune diseases were ascertained for a total of 880 GPA cases and 1969 controls of European descent. Single marker associations were identified using additive logistic regression models. Multi-SNP associations with GPA were assessed using genetic risk scores based on susceptibility loci for Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. Adjustment for population substructure was performed in all analyses using ancestry informative markers and principal components analysis.
Genetic polymorphisms in CTLA4 were significantly associated with GPA in the single-marker meta-analysis (OR 0.79. 95% CI 0.70–0.89, p=9.8×10−5). A genetic risk score based on rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility markers was significantly associated with GPA (OR 1.05 per 1-unit increase in genetic risk score, 95% CI 1.02–1.08, p=5.1×10−5).
Rheumatoid arthritis and GPA may arise from a similar genetic predisposition. Aside from CTLA4, other loci previously found to be associated with common autoimmune diseases were not statistically associated with GPA in this study.
genetics; vasculitis; granulomatosis with polyangiitis; rheumatoid arthritis; CTLA4
AIMS--A new sign of florid xanthelasmata is described in four male patients with orbital manifestations of Wegener's granulomatosis. METHODS--The case notes of four patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, with orbital involvement accompanied by yellow lid lesions, are reviewed. RESULTS--All the patients had active Wegener's granulomatosis at the time the lid lesions were most florid. The lesions gradually resolved as the inflammatory disease was controlled with immunosuppressive agents. The lesions displayed marked asymmetry and predominantly involved the side with the most severe inflammation. Abnormalities of lipid metabolism were not identified and it is believed that the lesions developed in a susceptible anatomical region affected by a vasculitic process. CONCLUSION--A 'yellow lid' associated with orbital inflammation and is a strong pointer to the clinical diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis.
We describe the case of a woman with an unusual presentation of Wegener’s granulomatosis.
A 20-year old Caucasian woman presented with the principal feature of a pancolonic, superficial microulceration mimicking severe ulcerative colitis. Our patient was refractory to therapy and had persisting signs of septic shock as well as being at risk of perforation, so we performed a subtotal colectomy and a cholecystectomy due to the incipient necrosis of her gallbladder. Histologic analysis of her colon showed multiple superficial microulcera of the mucosa, lamina propria mucosae and, to a lesser extent, the lamina submucosa. The medium-sized arteries and arterioles of her entire colon, appendix and gallbladder showed acute vasculitic changes with fibrinoid necrosis of the walls and diffuse infiltration with neutrophil granulocytes, accompanied by a strong perivascular histiocyte-rich and partially granulomatous reaction. These findings strongly suggested an autoimmune multisystem disease like Wegener’s granulomatosis or microscopic polyangiitis. A diagnosis of Wegener’s granulomatosis was confirmed by the results of serologic antibody tests: her cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody titer was considerably elevated at 1:2560 specific for subclass proteinase 3 (>200kU/L). After the histopathological diagnosis and serological tests, immunosuppression with high doses of corticosteroids and plasmapheresis was started.
In critically ill patients with severe, therapy-refractory ulcerative colitis, Wegener´s granulomatosis should be considered and serologic antibody testing should be performed.
We report the case of a 58-year-old Caucasian Greek man who presented with dry cough, fever, bilateral alveolar infiltrates and acute hepatitis.
After a lung biopsy, the patient was diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis. The diagnosis was supported by the presence of anti-proteinase-3 anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. A liver biopsy demonstrated the presence of mild non-specific lobular hepatitis and periodic acid-Schiff positive Lafora-like inclusions in a large number of his liver cells. The patient was treated with prednisone and cyclophosphamide, which was followed by subsequent remissions of chest X-ray findings and liver function studies.
What makes this case worth reporting is the coexistence of liver inflammation with a biochemical profile of severe anicteric non-viral, non-drug induced hepatitis coinciding with the diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis. Our paper may be the first report of hepatic involvement in a patient diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis. The aetiological link between the two diseases is supported by the reversion of hepatitis after the immunosuppression of Wegener's granulomatosis. We favor the hypothesis that hepatic vasculitis may be the cause of acute hepatocellular necrosis.
Background: Cytokines and T cell regulatory proteins play an important role in the pathogenesis of Wegener's granulomatosis (WG).
Objective: To investigate cytokine and cytotoxic T cell antigen-4 (CTLA4) gene polymorphisms and HLA class II alleles in generalised WG.
Methods: The distribution of cytokine and cytotoxic T cell antigen 4 (CTLA4) gene polymorphisms and HLA class II alleles was analysed in 32 patients with generalised WG and 91 healthy controls. Genotyping was carried out for HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 and for polymorphism of the genes encoding TNFα (–238, –308, –376), TGFß (codon 10 and 25), IFNγ (+874), IL6 (–174), IL10 (–592, –819, –1082), CTLA4 (–318, +49), and the (AT)n repeats of the CTLA4 gene. In addition, stratification analysis was carried out according to the presence (n = 15) or absence (n = 17) of end stage renal disease.
Results: An increase in the IFNγ +874 T/T (odds ratio (OR) = 3.14) and TNFα –238 G/A (OR = 5.01) genotypes was found in WG patients. When ESRD positive and negative patients were compared, the IFNγ +874 A/A and the CTLA4 –318 C/C genotypes were found more often in the ESRD subgroup (OR = 10.6 and OR = 2.25). WG patients without ESRD had a higher frequency of the IL10 GCC/ACC promotor genotype (OR = 0.13) and long CTLA4 (AT)n repeats (OR = 0.4). No effect was seen for HLA-DR and –DQ markers.
Conclusions: Disease susceptibility and clinical course in WG may be associated with distinct polymorphisms of cytokine and CTLA4 genes.
A major genomic region involved in Wegener's granulomatosis includes the gene for retinoid receptor beta (RXRB) which forms heterodimers with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). It is unclear whether this association directly arises from the RXRB allele(s) or via a linked variation.
In order to reveal any hitherto unknown and potentially disease-relevant variation of the RXRB gene, we have genotyped four tagging SNPs of this genomic region and have directly sequenced selected WG patients and controls representing disease-associated haplotypes. Additionally, we have genotyped 2 SNPs each in the genes for PPARα and PPARγ (PPARA and PPARG). Hence, we confirmed the strong association of the RXRB locus with WG but could not reveal any novel variation in RXRB. None of the PPARA and PPARG SNPs showed association with WG. Moreover, no epistatic effect was seen between RXRB and PPARA/PPARG alleles.
These results do not support an etiopathological role of PPAR in WG. Analyses of further genes functionally linked to RXRB may provide additional data useful to evaluate the RXRB association found in WG.
Wegener’s granulomatosis, also known as anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, is a small vessel vasculitis with primarily pulmonary, renal, and sinus disease manifestations. The prevalence of Wegener’s granulomatosis is three cases per 100,000 patients. Cardiovascular, neurologic, cutaneous, and joint manifestations have been reported in many case reports and case series. Gastrointestinal manifestations are less noted in Wegener’s granulomatosis, although they have been previously reported in the form of intestinal perforation and intestinal ischemia. Additionally, there are characteristic findings of vasculitis that are noted with active Wegener’s granulomatosis of the small bowel. We report a case of an elderly patient who presented with weight loss, diarrhea, and hematochezia. His symptoms were chronic and had lasted for more than 1 year before diagnosis. Inflammatory bowel disease or chronic enteritis due to Salmonella arizonae because of reptile exposure originally were suspected as etiologies of his presentation. The findings of proteinuria, renal failure, and pauci-immune glomerulonephritis on renal biopsy, in conjunction with an elevated c-ANCA titer, confirmed the diagnosis of Wegener’s granulomatosis with associated intestinal vasculitis. This case demonstrates an atypical presentation of chronic duodenitis and jejunitis secondary to Wegener’s granulomatosis, which mimicked inflammatory bowel disease.
ANCA-associated vasculitis; Wegener’s syndrome; pauci-immune glomerulonephritis; Salmonella arizonae; inflammatory bowel disease
To present an unusual case of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in a patient with Wegener’s granulomatosis.
A 54-year-old lady with Wegener’s granulomatosis presented with decreased vision in her left eye. Wegener’s retinal vasculitis was diagnosed initially and the patient received treatment with oral steroids. Three days later the patient developed typical CMV retinitis.
The likelihood of CMV retinitis in patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis should not be overlooked. Increased awareness in such cases is very important since CMV retinitis may present with less typical manifestations, which makes the correct diagnosis more challenging.
cytomegalovirus retinitis; Wegener’s granulomatosis; ganciclovir
Wegener's Granulomatosis is a vasculitis of uncertain aetiology. Affected patients usually present with disease of the respiratory and renal tracts. Classic symptoms and clinical findings, together with serology titres positive for anti-neutrophil cytolplasmic antibody against proteinase 3 confirm the diagnosis. Wegener's Granulomatosis can occasionally involve other organs, but solitary parotid gland disease is uncommon; patients generally also have systemic disease.
We report a case of Wegener's Granulomatosis in a 69-year-old Caucasian female presenting initially with an isolated parotid abscess and only subsequently developing nasal, paranasal sinus and respiratory symptoms. We describe the clinical course, diagnostic difficulties, imaging and histopathology of this case.
Major salivary gland infection is not an uncommon ENT disorder, but the clinician should be wary of the patient who fails to respond appropriately to adequate therapy. In such cases a differential diagnosis of Wegener's Granulomatosis should be considered, as early recognition and treatment of this potentially fatal disease is paramount.
Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a systemic disorder characterized by necrotizing vasculitis involving the respiratory tract, and in most cases, the kidneys. The most common manifestation of WG in the kidneys is segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis. The presence of a renal mass as a manifestation of WG is rare. We report a patient with WG in whom a CT scan revealed an infiltrating mass in the lower portion of the left kidney. After surgical exploration, we performed an open radical nephrectomy. Histopathology showed clear cell type renal cell carcinoma (RCC). RCC associated with WG has been reported in only a few cases, and in most of them, the diseases started simultaneously, suggesting common pathogenetic pathways. Long-term immunosuppressive treatment is a known risk factor in the development of malignancies, so occurrence of RCC in WG has been proposed as a side effect of cyclophosphamide treatment. Furthermore, it is important to make a differential diagnosis between RCC and pseudotumors in WG as they cannot be distinguished solely on basis of imaging findings. Due to the higher risk of urologic malignancies, more frequent checkups and screening of WG patients should be considered.
Wegener's granulomatosis; Renal Cell Carcinoma; Cyclophosphamide; Renal mass
Background: Several autoimmune disorders are complicated by excess cardiovascular disease. In addition to traditional risk factors, non-traditional risk factors such as endothelial activation and excessive vascular remodelling might be determinants of the progression of atherosclerosis in patients with an autoimmune disease.
Objective: To evaluate whether patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) have an increased prevalence of atherosclerosis and to determine predisposing factors.
Methods: 29 WG patients (19 men; mean (SD) age, 53 (14) years) with inactive disease and 26 controls (16 men; age 53 (15) years) were studied. Common carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) was measured by ultrasound. In all individuals traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease were determined. High sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) was measured. Endothelial activation was assessed by measuring thrombomodulin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and von Willebrand factor. As a marker of vascular remodelling matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-3 and MMP-9) and TIMP-1 were measured.
Results: IMT was increased in WG patients compared with controls (p<0.05). No differences in traditional risk factors and endothelial activation markers between patients and controls were found. Levels of hsCRP, MMPs, and TIMP-1 were increased in WG patients (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Increased IMT found in WG patients cannot be explained by an increased prevalence of traditional risk factors. Although endothelial activation markers in WG patients with inactive disease were not increased, the raised levels of hsCRP, MMPs, and TIMP-1 suggest that enhanced inflammation and excessive vascular remodelling are contributing factors in the development of accelerated atherosclerosis in WG.
There are only a few reported cases about spinal cord involvement with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) in the literature. In these cases, the spinal cord is usually indented or compressed by dural and meningeal masses which are characterized by necrotizing granuloma formation and vasculitis. And, it usually cannot be correctly diagnosed. A 53-year-old woman suffered from Wegener’s granulomatosis, in whom the upper thoracic spinal cord compression is the initial manifestation. The surgical biopsy and thoracic laminectomy were performed and the histologic examination was done. This patient was finally diagnosed as WG when the pathologic examination revealed as Wegener’s granulomatosis and the serum antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) were reported positive; titers of antimyeloperoxidase (MPO) antibodies were markedly elevated. After treatment with cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids this patient partially recovered from neurological involvement. In a case such as this, careful monitoring of clinical parameters is essential for assessing disease activity with repeated MRI if neurologic status changes. Serial measurement of ANCA titers may also be helpful to establish the diagnosis. Cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids are the agents of choice for induction of remission of WG.
Spinal cord; Wegener’s granulomatosis; Vasculitis
We present the case of a young man with involvement of the gastrointestinal tract in the early phase of Wegener’s granulomatosis. The patient presented at the emergency department with sudden onset of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Radiography work up was negative for free air although ultrasound examination showed extraluminal intra-abdominal fluid. Exploratory laparotomy showed perforation of the jejunum. The bowel was vital except for this small segment of jejunum. A 5-cm long segment of jejunum was resected which revealed ulcerative inflammation accompanied by occluded arteries of the small intestine. Although intestinal perforation in Wegener’s granulomatosis is uncommon, several cases have been previously reported. Intestinal involvement in the early phase of the disease is even more uncommon. This case combined with previously reported cases emphasizes the possibility of gastrointestinal manifestation early in Wegener’s disease.
Wegener’s granulomatosis; Intestinal tract; Perforation
A case of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in a patient with Wegener’s granulomatosis treated with oral valganciclovir as maintenance therapy is reported. A 68-year-old male patient with anti-proteinase-3 ANCA-positive Wegener’s granulomatosis who was receiving immunosuppressive therapy with methylprednisolone, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine developed CMV retinitis. The patient received intravenous ganciclovir as induction therapy and oral valganciclovir as maintenance therapy. The patient responded to treatment and showed no recurrence for 8 months. There were no serious adverse effects associated with oral valganciclovir. Oral valganciclovir is convenient and effective for the management of CMV retinitis in the patient with Wegener’s granulomatosis.
cytomegalovirus retinitis; Wegener’s granulomatosis; valganciclovir; ganciclovir; maintenance therapy
The glycosylation status of autoantigens appears to be crucial for the pathogenesis of some autoimmune diseases, since carbohydrates play a crucial role in the distinction of self from non-self. Proteinase 3 (PR3), the main target antigen for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG), contains two Asn-linked glycosylation sites. The present study explores the influence of the glycosylation status of PR3 on the PR3 recognition by ANCA in a well characterized population of patients with WG.
Forty-four patients with WG (459 serum samples) who participated in a multicenter randomized trial, were tested by capture ELISA for ANCA against PR3 and deglycosylated recombinant variants of PR3.
The patients were followed for a median of 27 months, and the median number of serum samples per patient was 10. At baseline, the correlation between the levels of ANCA against PR3 and against all the deglycosylated recombinant variants of PR3 were greater than 0.94 (ρ<0.001 for all the comparisons). Longitudinal analyses comparing the levels of ANCA against PR3 versus all the deglycosylated recombinant variants of PR3, using linear mixed models, showed no significant statistical differences (ρ≥0.90 in all cases).
The glycosylation status of PR3 has no impact on its recognition by ANCA in WG.
ANCA; biological markers; glycosylation; proteinase 3; Wegener’s granulomatosis
Splenic involvements in Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) are rarely diagnosed ante-mortem, while an autopsy is able to reveal a high rate of spleen lesions (78–100%). To date, there have been a few reported cases of splenic abnormalities in WG, including: splenomegaly, capsular adhesion, dysfunction and infarction. We reported a case of biopsy-verified WG with radiological evidence of diffuse spleen infarction despite the lack of any clinical symptoms. We concluded that due to a potential risk of severe hemorrhagic complications when anticoagulant therapy is necessary, radiological assessment of spleen should be performed regularly in this group of patients, particularly because spleen involvement can be asymptomatic.
Wegener’s granulomatosis; spleen; splenic infarction
An association between therapeutic inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and solid malignancies was observed during the Wegener’s Granulomatosis Etanercept Trial (WGET). The present study was conducted to determine the malignancy risk beyond the exposure to study therapy.
The occurrence and type of solid malignancies were ascertained using a standardized data form. Data collected included vital status, histologic reports, and therapeutic interventions. The SEER database was used to estimate a standardized incidence rate (SIR) for solid malignancies.
The median post-trial follow-up available for 153 patients (85% of the original cohort) was 43 months. Fifty percent of these patients had received etanercept. There were no differences in demographics between etanercept and placebo groups. Thirteen new solid malignancies were detected, 8 in the etanercept and 5 in the placebo group. The risk of solid malignancies in the etanercept group was increased compared to the general population (SIR=3.92; 95% CI 1.69–7.72), but not different from that of the placebo group (SIR=2.89; 95% CI 0.94–6.73, p=0.39). All solid malignancies occurred in patients exposed to cyclophosphamide. The overall duration of disease and a history of malignancy before trial enrollment were associated with the development of malignancy during post-trial follow-up.
The incidence of solid malignancy remained increased during long-term follow-up of the WGET cohort. However, this could not be attributed solely to etanercept exposure during the trial. Anti-TNF therapy with etanercept appears to further increase the risk of malignancy observed in patients with WG treated with cytotoxic therapy and should be avoided in such patients.
Wegener’s granulomatosis; vasculitis; etanercept; malignancy; cancer
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasingly applied in adults with acute refractory respiratory failure that is deemed reversible. Bleeding is the most frequent complication during ECMO support. Severe pre-existing bleeding has been considered a contraindication to ECMO application. Nevertheless, there are cases of successful ECMO application in patients with multiple trauma and hemorrhagic shock or head trauma and intracranial hemorrhage. ECMO has proved to be life-saving in several cases of life-threatening respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hemorrhage of various causes, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s disease). We successfully applied ECMO in a 65-year-old woman with acute life-threatening respiratory failure due to diffuse massive pulmonary hemorrhage secondary to granulomatosis with polyangiitis, manifested as severe pulmonary-renal syndrome. ECMO sustained life and allowed disease control, together with plasmapheresis, cyclophosphamide, corticoids, and renal replacement therapy. The patient was successfully weaned from ECMO, extubated, and discharged home. She remains alive on dialysis at 17 months follow-up.
ECMO; ARDS; polyangiitis; granulomatosis; hemorrhage
Aim: To describe the clinical characteristics of orbital socket contracture in patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG).
Methods: A retrospective cohort study The medical records of 256 patients with WG examined at the National Institutes of Health from 1967 to 2004 were reviewed to identify patients with orbital socket contracture. Details of the orbital disease including Hertel exophthalmometry readings, radiological findings, and results of eye examinations were recorded. Orbital socket contracture was defined as orbital inflammation with proptosis followed by the development of enophthalmos and radiographic evidence of residual fibrotic changes in the orbit. To examine for risk factors in the development of a contracted orbit, patients with orbital socket contracture were compared to patients without contracture with respect to multiple variables including history of orbital surgery, orbital disease severity, and major organ system involvement. The main outcome measures were the clinical characteristics of orbital socket contracture associated with inflammatory orbital disease in patients with WG.
Results: Inflammatory orbital disease occurred in 34 of 256 (13%) patients and detailed clinical data on 18 patients were available and examined. Orbital socket contracture occurred during the clinical course in six patients; the features included restrictive ophthalmopathy (five), chronic orbital pain (three), and ischaemic optic nerve disease (two) resulting in blindness (no light perception) in one patient. The orbital socket contracture occurred within 3 months of treatment with immunosuppressive medications for inflammatory orbital disease in five patients and was not responsive to immunosuppressive medications. The median degree of enophthalmos in the contracted orbit compared with the fellow eye was 2.8 mm (range 1.5–3.5 mm) by Hertel exophthalmometry. There were no risk factors that predicted development of orbital socket contracture.
Conclusions: In six patients with WG and active inflammatory orbital disease, orbital socket contracture occurred during the treatment course with systemic immunosuppressive medications. The orbital socket contracture, presumably caused by orbital fibrosis, led to enophthalmos, restrictive ophthalmopathy, chronic orbital pain, and optic nerve disease and was not responsive to immunosuppressive therapy. Orbital socket contracture has not been previously reported as a complication of inflammatory orbital disease associated with WG and was an important cause of visual morbidity in our cohort of patients.
Wegener’s granulomatosis; orbital disease
The frequencies of the HLA-A, B, C, DR, DQ antigens and of several other genetic markers in biopsy proved and well characterised patients with Wegener's granulomatosis were compared with control frequencies of the region. A highly significant increase in HLA-DR1 was found. The percentage combined frequency of DR1-DQw1 was significantly higher in patients than in the controls. Interestingly, association with the red cell enzyme GLOI and complement locus C4B was also seen. As both of these markers are either linked or within the major histocompatibility complex region (MHC) this is further evidence for the involvement of chromosome 6 in the pathogenesis of Wegener's granulomatosis. To understand the pathology of the disease fully molecular genetic studies of the MHC region are warranted.
The limited form of Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), formerly known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis (WG) primarily involves the head and neck region, including the orbit, but is often a diagnostic challenge, particularly as it commonly lacks positive anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA) titres or classical features on diagnostic orbital biopsies. The purpose of this study was to relate biopsy findings with clinical outcome and to determine which histopathological features are predictive of a clinical diagnosis of GPA.
Retrospective case series of 234 patients identified from the database of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Department of Eye Pathology as having had orbital biopsies of orbital inflammatory disorders performed between 1988 and 2009. Clinical records were obtained for the patients and analysed to see whether patients had GPA or not, according to a standard set of diagnostic criteria (excluding any histopathological findings). Biopsy features were then correlated with the clinical diagnosis in univariate and multivariate analyses to determine factors predictive of GPA.
Of the 234 patients, 36 were diagnosed with GPA and 198 with other orbital pathologies. The majority of biopsies were from orbital masses (47%). Histology showed a range of acute and chronic inflammatory pictures in all biopsies, but the presence of neutrophils (P<0.001), vasculitis (P<0.001), necrosis (P<0.001), eosinophils (P<0.02) and macrophages (P=0.05) were significantly associated with a later clinical diagnosis of GPA. In a multivariate analysis, only tissue neutrophils (OR=3.6, P=0.01) and vasculitis (OR=2.6, P=0.02) were independently associated with GPA, in contrast to previous reports associating eosinophils and necrosis with the diagnosis.
Neutrophil, eosinophil and macrophage infiltration of orbital tissues, together with vasculitis and necrosis, are all associated with a clinical diagnosis of GPA, but only neutrophil infiltration and vasculitis are independently associated with this diagnosis. These features may assist in the establishing the diagnosis of limited GPA among patients with early orbital disease, particularly in the absence of positive serum ANCA titres.
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis; histopathology; eosinophils; nuclear dust
We report a case of Wegener's granulomatosis clinically mistaken for carcinoma in a 21-year-old girl presenting with an ulcerated mass of the nasopharynx associated with enlarged laterocervical nodes. The lesion was clinically suspected as malignant on the basis of clinical and radiological findings (namely, computed tomography scan and positron emission tomography). However, multiple biopsies were not conclusive for malignancy showing histological change suggestive of Wegener's granulomatosis. A serum determination of cANCA supported the diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis. Clinical findings and image studies suggested an erroneous diagnosis of malignancy whereas a definitive diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis was achieved only after repeated biopsies thus leading to a correct therapeutic approach. The Wegener granulomatosis must be added to the list of the differential diagnoses of the masses of the nasopharynx associated with or without enlarged laterocervical nodes.
A Caucasian woman in the third trimester of her sixth pregnancy was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) following investigation for recurrent ear infections and a persistent dry cough. Chest radiograph showed granulomatous lesions and the c-ANCA (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody) was strongly positive. She required pulsed methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide followed by oral prednisolone and azathioprine to control the disease process during and after pregnancy. Neither the disease nor aggressive treatment adversely affected the pregnancy and she delivered a healthy baby girl by elective induction at 37 weeks. A review of the literature on Wegener’s granulomatosis in pregnancy is presented.
Wegener's granulomatosis of the pituitary gland resulting in diabetes insipidus is a rare complication of the disease. Standard treatment for Wegener's granulomatosis involves a combination of prednisolone and cylophosphamide, however biologic agents are now being used in refractory cases. We report three cases of patients with diabetes insipidus as a complication of Wegener's granulomatosis who were treated with biologic agents. All three cases showed clinical response to treatment with biologic agents including rituximab and alemtuzumab and two cases demonstrated improvement in pituitary gland abnormalities by MRI. Clinicians should be aware that diabetes insipidus can present as a complication of Wegener's granulomatosis and that biologic therapies may be effective in refractory cases.