Wegener’s Granulomatosis

(WG; Granulomatosis with polyangiitis)

Definition

Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) is a rare disease that causes the walls of blood vessels to become inflamed, a condition called vasculitis. This limits blood flow to tissues and can affect any organ. The outlook is good with proper treatment, but without it, WG is fatal.
Damage to Kidney Due to Decreased Blood Flow
Kidney damage
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

WG is a type of autoimmune disease. This means the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The cause is unknown.

Risk Factors

WG does not appear to be passed from one generation to the next. It is more common in Caucasians, and in people of middle age.

Symptoms

Symptoms and their severity vary from one person to another. In most cases, ear, nose, and throat symptoms appear first. These symptoms do not respond to normal treatment and worsen over time.WG can cause common cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:
  • Fever
  • Achy joints and muscles
  • Headache
  • Overall feeling of discomfort or fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
Common respiratory tract symptoms associated with WG may include:
  • Hearing problems
  • Ear pain
  • Mid-facial pain
  • Persistent nasal discharge, with crusts or sores that do not heal
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Recurrent ear infection
  • Ulcers in the mouth and nose
  • Wheezing
Areas of Sinus Pain
Sinus Headache: Areas of Pain
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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