Onset of granulomatosis with polyangiitis obscured by heart disease in an elderly man

C Pace, M Presicce, F Lamacchia, D Ferrari, G Sergiacomi
Radiology Case Reports 2020, 15 (1): 54-58
We describe a case of 85-year-old man who presented to the Emergency Department with sudden dyspnea. He had a past medical history of cardiomyopathy and radiography and nonenhanced computed tomography (CT) of the chest showed pulmonary edema. Despite intravenous diuretic therapy, there was no clinical improvement. Cardiac CT was then performed showing a solid pulmonary nodular lesion with intralesional cavitations, ground-glass opacities, and peripheral vascularization. CT-guided needle lung biopsy yielded a diagnosis of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener granulomatosis). Medical treatment with cyclophosphamide and prednisone produced rapid symptomatic improvement and complete resolution of the radiological findings. This case demonstrates the challenges in making this diagnosis in an elderly patient with heart disease. We found very few documented cases where there was onset of granulomatosis with polyangiitis at this age.

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