Wegener's granulomatosis with nervous system involvement: a hospital-based study

Yu-Hua Huang, Long-Sun Ro, Rong-Kuo Lyu, Hong-Shiu Chang, Yih-Ru Wu, Kuo-Hsuan Chang, Hung-Chou Kuo
European Neurology 2015, 73 (3-4): 197-204

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to ascertain the clinical manifestations of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) (GPA) with the involvement of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS).

SUMMARY: All neurologic inpatients in a hospital over a 12-year period were reviewed. Nine patients met both the ACR 1990 traditional format criteria for the classification of GPA and the Chapel Hill nomenclature mandatory criteria for GPA. We focused on the clinical presentation, serological data, biopsy reports, disease activities [as assessed by the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS)], electrophysiology, and brain images. Nine patients met the diagnostic criteria for GPA. The neurological signs of the initial manifestation of GPA were found in 6/9 (67%) patients. Eight patients had GPA-related CNS involvement, including four patients with chronic hypertrophic pachymeningitis, with either diffuse or focal thickening; three had intracranial hemorrhages and two had orbital mass lesions with optic nerve compression. In addition, six patients showed PNS involvement, including three with asymmetric sensorimotor polyneuropathy, two with symmetric sensorimotor polyneuropathy, and one with bilateral mononeuropathy. Key Messages: Neurological manifestation is not uncommon and can be the first clinical sign of GPA. The involvement of both CNS and PNS raises the possibility of GPA in hospitalized neurologic patients.

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