Author(s): Greco A, De Virgilio A, Rizzo MI, Gallo A, Magliulo G,
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Abstract Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is an idiopathic autoimmune disease characterized by systemic vasculitis. The disease predominantly affects small-calibre blood vessels and is associated with the presence of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA). Microscopic polyangiitis was considered to be a disease entity by Savage et al. in 1985. Microscopic polyangiitis has a reported low incidence and a slight male predominance. The aetiology of MPA remains unknown. There is, however, increased evidence that MPA is an autoimmune disease in which ANCAs, particularly those reacting with MPO, are pathogenic. MPA belongs to the systemic vasculitides, indicating that multiple organs can be affected. The major organs involved in MPA are the kidneys and the lungs. As expected for an illness that affects multiple organ systems, patients with MPA can present with a myriad of different symptoms. Ear, nose and throat (ENT) manifestations are not considered to be clinical symptoms of MPA, but in the majority of populations described, ENT involvement was found in surprisingly high percentages. MPA is part of the ANCA-associated vasculitides, which are characterized by necrotizing vasculitis of small vessels. Diagnosis is mainly established by clinical manifestations, computed tomography (TC), ANCA antibody detection and renal and pulmonary biopsy. The introduction of aggressive immunosuppressive treatment has substantially improved the prognosis. The standardized therapeutic regimen is based on cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids. Using this regimen, remission can be achieved in most of the patients. Rituximab may represent an important alternative to cyclophosphamide for patients who may not respond adequately to antimetabolite therapies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Autoimmun Rev
and referenced in Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods