Pathophysiology: Wegener's granulomatosis is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by granulomatous vasculitis of the upper and lower respiratory tracts, glomerulonephritis and small vessel vasculitis. 90% of patients have pulmonary involvement. As the affected vessels are occluded, stroke developed with subsequent radiographic manifestations of ill-defined multiple bilateral opacities and delimit as myocardial is organized.
Diagnosis: Whenever possible, it is important to confirm the diagnosis of Wegener’s by biopsying an involved organ and finding the pathologic features of this disease under the microscope. Because many diseases may mimic Wegener’s (and vice versa), before starting a treatment regimen it is essential to be as certain of the diagnosis as possible.
Medications such as prednisone help suppress the immune system and treat the early signs and symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis.
Most people require another immunosuppressive drug, such as cyclophosphamide, azathioprine or methotrexate, to counteract the body's immune reaction.
Statistics: The 5-year incidence of Wegener's granulomatosis in South Australia over the period 2001–2005 was determined using the International Classification of Diseases classification (M313) of the discharge diagnosis using the Integrated South Australian Activity Collection. A retrospective case record analysis of 30 patients fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology criteria for WG and managed at two regional hospitals over a 20-year period (1985–2004) was carried out.