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Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) in a 76-year old woman presenting with pulmonary nodule and accelerating acute kidney injury

Published on: 20th January, 2020

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8516756417

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), a form of ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), is a rare disease with an often-occult presentation. It is more common in 4th and 5th decades of life but can be seen in all ages. This case report details a 76-year-old female presenting with abdominal pain, generalized weakness, and malaise, who was found to have pulmonary nodules on chest imaging. Biopsy of the lung nodule showed organizing pneumonia. Initially, antibiotics were used to treat the patient. However, she developed acute renal failure a few days after presentation and found to have positive serum C-ANCA as well as elevated ANCA-PR3 serologies. A subsequent kidney biopsy demonstrated pauci-immune necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis that was consistent with GPA and the patient was started immediately on combination immunosuppressive therapy, plasmapheresis, and hemodialysis. GPA’s clinical and radiological presentation can mimic other common conditions such as pneumonia, malignancy, bacterial sinusitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and urinary tract infection. Because of this, a high level of suspicion is required for early diagnosis and treatment to alter the high mortality rate in this disease entity. All forms of ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) should be in the differential diagnosis for all patients presenting with multiorgan system involvement particularly in individuals with pulmonary and renal manifesations.
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