An unusual precipitant of acute heart failure-ANCA-associated vasculitis in a patient with ischaemic cardiomyopathy: a case report

Krishna Prasad, Pruthvi C Revaiah, Krishna Santosh Vemuri, Parag Barwad
European Heart Journal. Case Reports 2020, 4 (6): 1-6

Background: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated pulmonary renal vasculitis is an uncommon disease entity. Its presentation as acute heart failure for the first time in a patient with established coronary artery disease (CAD) is even rarer. We present here a case of such an association and an approach to managing this clinical situation.

Case summary: A 60-year-old male patient presented to the emergency room with recent-onset dyspnoea New York Heart Association Class IV. He was having hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and CAD. He also underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention to left anterior descending in the past for acute coronary syndrome and had moderate left ventricular dysfunction. He was being managed as a case of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and was mechanically ventilated. Suddenly his ventilator requirement increased and endotracheal aspirate contained blood. The chest radiograph showed bilateral hilar infiltrates. Simultaneously he also had recurrent episodes of ventricular tachycardia (VT) requiring direct current (DC) cardioversion. Blood investigations showed deranged renal function and severe hyperkalaemia, but no evidence of coagulopathy. High-resolution computed tomography chest showed features of diffuse alveolar haemorrhage. Further investigations revealed high titres of c-ANCA and raised inflammatory biomarkers. A diagnosis of ANCA-associated vasculitis presenting as acute on CKD with dyselectrolytaemia (hyperkalaemia) leading to VT was made. Apart from standard management for associated illness, he was treated with plasma exchange, steroids, and cyclophosphamide to which he responded and was later on discharged.

Discussion: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-related pulmonary renal vasculitis can lead to rapidly progressing renal failure and may present as ADHF in a patient with existent CAD. The associated VT storm in our patient can be attributed to hyperkalaemia secondary to acute renal failure. A multidisciplinary approach is required for the successful management of such a complex clinical scenario.

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