Diseases Home > Wegener's Granulomatosis

Wegener's granulomatosis is a disease that mostly affects the upper respiratory tract. This condition is characterized by inflamed blood vessels that result in damage to important organs of the body. Common symptoms include sinus pain and a constant runny nose. The only clear-cut way of making a diagnosis is through a biopsy of an affected organ. Treatment options include medications such as prednisone and cyclophosphamide.

What Is Wegener's Granulomatosis?

Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon disease in which the blood vessels are inflamed (a condition called vasculitis). This inflammation damages important organs of the body by limiting blood flow to those organs and destroying normal tissue.
Although Wegener's granulomatosis can involve any organ system, it mainly affects the respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, trachea or windpipe, and lungs) and kidneys.

Who Does This Condition Affect?

Wegener's granulomatosis can affect people at any age and strikes men and women equally. The condition is rare in African Americans when compared to Caucasians.

Cause of Wegener's Granulomatosis

Health experts do not know what causes Wegener's granulomatosis.

Possible Symptoms

The first symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis are often vague, and frequently include upper respiratory tract symptoms. Other early symptoms may include joint pain, weakness, or tiredness.
Other symptoms will depend on which area of the body is affected. Some of these areas may include the:
  • Upper respiratory tract
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, and joints)
  • Skin.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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