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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2014 Aug;138(8):1110-4. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2013-0006-RS.

Orbital granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener granulomatosis): clinical and pathologic findings.

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  • 1From the Department of Pathology, UC San Diego, San Diego (Dr Muller), and the Department of Pathology, UC San Diego, La Jolla (Dr Lin), California.

Abstract

The pathology of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), formerly Wegener granulomatosis, typically features a granulomatous and sometimes necrotizing vasculitis targeting the respiratory tract and kidneys. However, orbital involvement occurs in up to 60% of patients and is frequently the first or only clinical presentation in patients with systemic or limited forms of GPA. Orbital GPA can cause significant morbidity and potentially lead to complete loss of vision and permanent facial deformity. Fortunately, GPA is highly responsive to medical treatment with corticosteroids combined with cyclophosphamide or, more recently, rituximab. Therefore, it is imperative for this disease to be accurately diagnosed on orbital biopsy and distinguished from other histologically similar orbital lesions. Herein, we review the clinical and pathologic findings of orbital GPA, focusing on the differentiation of this disease from other inflammatory orbital lesions.

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