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Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(1):48-50.

Vasculitis of the internal carotid artery in Wegener's granulomatosis: comparison of ultrasonography, angiography, and MRI.

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Medical Center for Rheumatology Berlin-Buch, Klinikum Buch, Berlin, Germany.


A 37-year old male with newly diagnosed, untreated Wegener's granulomatosis including glomerulonephritis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, arthralgias, and positive cANCA, developed a pulsating tumor in the left submandibular region and a reversible ischemic neurologic deficit. Ultrasonography revealed both a hyperechoic wall thickening of the left proximal internal carotid artery as is known in Takayasu's arteritis and a surrounding hypoechoic region typical for perivasculitis. The wall thickening and the perivascular infiltrate could be less clearly seen by MRI. Ultrasonography, angiography, and MRI demonstrated a 3 cm long, 30%, stenosis. Angiography and MRI additionally found a more distally located kinking of the internal carotid artery that was missed by ultrasonography. Carotid artery vasculitis is a rare complication of Wegener's granulomatosis. In this case ultrasonography was superior to angiography and MRI to visualize the artery wall and the surrounding tissue, but it failed to evaluate the whole distance of the vessel.

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