Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), formerly called Wegener's granulomatosis, is an
autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body's immune system
attacks and destroys healthy tissue. This condition causes inflammation, swelling, and
irritation in blood vessels and other tissues.
inflammation reduces or stops the flow of blood to organs in the body. The condition
mostly affects the respiratory system. This includes the sinuses, nose, windpipe, and
lungs. It can also affect the kidneys. But it can damage any organ in the body.
GPA is not common. It can start at any
age. Doctors don't know what causes it.
Most people with GPA first have vague
symptoms that may include:
To diagnose GPA, your healthcare
provider may do the following:
of these tests can help rule out other causes of your symptoms. They may not confirm the
diagnosis. A biopsy is the only way to know for sure if it’s GPA.
people with GPA can be treated. But the medicines used to treat this condition could
have side effects of their own. Be sure to talk about these side effects with your
are common medicines used in treatment:
may come back even after successful treatment. Continue to follow up with your
healthcare provider, even when you are in remission.
Ongoing GPA can cause:
your healthcare provider if you have the symptoms listed above. This is especially true
if you have tried over-the-counter treatments that seem appropriate, such as allergy
medicines, with no success.
Always call your healthcare provider if you have changes in vision. Call if you have a
cough that produces bloody mucus. These may be symptoms of granulomatosis with
polyangiitis (GPA) or another serious health problem.
to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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