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Z Rheumatol. 2009 Feb;68(1):49-63; quiz 64. doi: 10.1007/s00393-008-0425-z.

[Wegener's granulomatosis and microscopic polyangiitis].

[Article in German]

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Medizinische Klinik III (Innere Medizin, Nephrologie, Rheumatologie), Klinikum Offenbach GmbH, Starkenburgring 66, 63069, Offenbach.


Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) are primary systemic small vessel vasculitides, associated with a positive C/PR3-ANCA in WG and P/MPO-ANCA in MPA. The most prominently involved organs are the upper (only in WG) and lower respiratory tract and the kidneys. The diagnostic work-up is an interdisciplinary approach assessing disease stage and extent. Treatment is adapted to disease stage and extent and relies on a combination of a cytotoxic plus a tapering regimen of corticosteroids. Induction of remission in "early systemic" disease can be achieved with low-dose methotrexate. In severe generalized vasculitis cyclophosphamide (CYC) is the mainstay of therapy, in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in combination with plasmapheresis. After 3-6 months of induction CYC is switched to a maintenance treatment with azathioprine. Alternatives are leflunomide, mycophenolate or methotrexate (creatinine < 150 micromol/l). Age > or = 50 at diagnosis, renal dysfunction and pulmonary involvement are associated with higher mortality rates. The relapse rate is approximately 50% within 5 years, being higher in WG than MPA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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