Besides affecting your upper and lower respiratory tracts, Wegener's granulomatosis may affect other organs, including your skin, eyes, ears, kidneys, spinal cord and heart. Complications may include:
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- Hearing loss. Inflammation of granulated tissue in the middle ear can lead to hearing loss.
- Skin scarring. Sores may develop and may lead to severe scarring.
- Heart attack. Wegener's granulomatosis can affect the arteries of your heart, resulting in chest pain or a heart attack, though this is rare.
- Kidney (renal) damage. As Wegener's granulomatosis progresses, it's likely to affect your kidneys. It can lead to glomerulonephritis, a type of kidney disease that hampers your kidneys' ability to remove waste and excess fluid from your body, leading to a buildup of waste products in your bloodstream (uremia). Kidney failure is a leading cause of death from Wegener's granulomatosis.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Oct. 12, 2012.
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's). American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/wegeners.asp. Accessed Oct. 12, 2012.
- Holle JU, et al. Clinical manifestations and treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis. Rheumatologic Disease Clinics of North America. 2010;36:507.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2013. 52nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Oct. 12, 2012.
- Falk RJ, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis and microscopic polyangiitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- FDA approves Rituxan to treat two rare disorders. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm251946.htm. Accessed Aug. 22, 2012.
- Langford CA. Update on the treatment of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's). Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2012;14:164.
- Turnball J, et al. Adverse effects of therapy for ANCA-associated vasculitis. Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2009;23:391.