Wegener’s granulomatosis is a rare disorder of inflammation of the blood vessels. When the blood vessels are inflamed, the blood flow is reduced. This further can cause damage to the organs. Mostly affected organs are the kidneys, lungs, and the respiratory tract.
This disorder produces an inflammatory tissue called granuloma around the blood vessel, destroying the normal tissue.
Wegener’s granulomatosis can be successfully treated when there is early diagnosis. If it is left untreated, it can cause kidney failure and be fatal.
The symptoms of Wegener’s granulomatosis start when the respiratory tract is affected. These are:
- runny nose
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
If it spreads to the kidneys, possible symptoms are anemia and kidney failure. Blood and urine tests can diagnose if kidneys are affected.
The cause of Wegener’s granulomatosis is unknown. It is supposed that an infection may trigger the inflammation of the blood vessels which further causes reaction from the immune system. No exact infection has been identified. It is also not known why granulomas are formed around the normal tissue.
The risk factors for Wegener’s granulomatosis are:
- age – it is developed in people between 40 and 65
- race – it is more frequent in white people
The complications of Wegener’s granulomatosis may occur when the respiratory tract is affected. However, it can affect the heart arteries and therefore cause a heart attack, although it is rarer. Kidney damage is another complication, which can lead to glomerulonephritis, uremia, and kidney failure.
Wegener’s granulomatosis can affect the skin, eyes, and ears, too. It can cause: skin scars or loss of hearing.