Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis

Summarized by Plex Health
Last Updated: 02 May 2022

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a type of vasculitis or swelling of the blood vessels. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis can influence the blood vessels in any part of the body, but one of the most generally affected areas consist of the sinuses, trachea, lungs, and kidneys. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is the term used to describe this disease due to the fact that people with this disease may have granulomas, which are areas of swelling that have cells of the body immune system. Some people with GPA may have blood in the urine, breast pain, or skin lesions. More rarely, people with GPA might have symptoms impacting the eyes such as a recurrent eye infection or swelling of the eyes. Many people who have GPA begin to have signs and symptoms of the disease in their adult years. The precise root cause of granulomatosis with polyangiitis is not well-understood. People that have GPA frequently have specific antibodies called antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. A characteristic feature of GPA is inflammation of blood vessels, particularly the small- and medium-sized capillary in the lungs, nose, sinuses, windpipe, and kidneys, although vessels in any organ can be involved. Vasculitis causes scarring and tissue death in the vessels and impedes blood flow to cells and organs. The symptoms and signs of GPA vary based on the tissues and body organs affected by vasculitis. Extreme inflammation in the nose can lead to a hole in the tissue that divides the two nostrils or a collapse of the septum, triggering a sunken bridge of the nose. The kidneys are frequently affected in people with GPA. Tissue damages triggered by vasculitis in the kidneys can lead to decreased kidney function, which might cause increased high blood pressure or blood in the urine, and serious kidney failure. GPA can be very severe but, with medication, many people are able to manage the symptoms and keep the condition controlled. GPA can cause a variety of symptoms depending on which parts of the body are affected. GPA can cause permanent damages to some components of the body if it's not treated. See a general practitioner if you have symptoms of GPA, particularly if they do not disappear. The GP can do some basic checks to search for out what's creating your symptoms and can refer you to a medical facility specialist for additional tests, if needed. Call your physician if any of your old symptoms come back or you get any new symptoms if you've currently been identified with GPA.

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