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Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Aug;62(2):390-3. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.12.035. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Computed tomography angiography in the diagnosis of ANCA-associated small- and medium-vessel vasculitis.

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  • 1Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.


Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a systemic necrotizing vasculitis that typically occurs without detectable antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody. It leads to aneurysm formation by affecting muscular arteries, usually those of medium size but also occasionally those of small size. Kidney involvement is common, leading to reduced glomerular filtration rate, hypertension, rupture of renal arterial aneurysms causing perinephric hematomas, and renal infarctions in those with severe vasculitis. Similar to PAN, microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) leads to aneurysm formation; however, MPA usually is associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody, and glomerulonephritis is a more common feature of MPA. Although kidney biopsy may show classic vascular changes in both PAN and MPA, this procedure is not without risk of significant bleeding due to aneurysm rupture. We present 2 cases of renal aneurysms that were diagnosed as MPA using computed tomography angiography (CTA), allowing implementation of appropriate immunosuppressive therapy. Follow-up CTA after treatment showed resolution of all previously observed abnormalities. CTA is a useful alternative to kidney biopsy in establishing both the extent of disease in renal aneurysms and allowing for tracking of disease progression and response to therapy.

Copyright © 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Polyarteritis nodosa; computed tomography angiography; microscopic polyangiitis

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