JOURNAL ARTICLE

The role of conjunctival biopsy in the diagnosis of granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Roxana Ursea, Dawn De Castro, Trent J Bowen, Chi-Chao Chan
Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection 2015, 5 (1): 1
25632308

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to describe a patient who was diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis based on conjunctival biopsy. This study is a case report and review of the literature.

FINDINGS: A 48-year-old Caucasian woman presented with a 2-week history of a left eye peripheral corneal ulcer with adjacent conjunctivitis and a 4-month history of a non-resolving productive cough. Given her elevated serum perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (P-ANCA) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels as well as a chest computed topography (CT) that showed bilateral patchy infiltrates, suspicion of limited granulomatosis with polyangiitis with lung and ocular involvement was high. Because bronchoalveolar lavage was nondiagnostic for granulomatous disease, conjunctival biopsy was initially attempted in order to avoid a more invasive lung biopsy. The conjunctival biopsy revealed mixed subacute inflammatory mediators and vasculitis consistent with granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Conjunctival biopsy may be a valuable, minimally invasive method for diagnosing systemic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

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