Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Granulomatosis with polyangiitis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

Chest X Ray


Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

CDC on Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy in the news

Blogs on Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

Directions to Hospitals Treating Granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Granulomatosis with polyangiitis medical therapy

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Ali Poyan Mehr, M.D. [2]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Krzysztof Wierzbicki M.D. [3]Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [4]Amandeep Singh M.D.[5]


In most cases, treatment consists of a combination of a glucocorticoid (a steroid) and a cytotoxic medicine. It includes glucocorticoids, cyclophosphamide, Rituximab, Methotrexate, Azathioprine and when needed with plasmapheresis.

Medical Therapy

Before steroid treatment became available, mortality within one year was over 90%, with average survival being 5 months. Steroids prolonged average survival to 8 months. The introduction of cyclophosphamide (CYC) in the 1970s was a major breakthrough.[1][2]

Initial treatment

1. Immunosuppressants

1.1 Glucocorticoids
  • Parenteral regimen (pulse therapy)
    • Preferred regimen (1):Methylprednisolone 7-15 mg/kg IV q24h for 3 days (maximum, 500-1000 mg/kg/day)
  • Oral regimen (follows parenteral pulse therapy)
    • Preferred regimen (1): Prednisone 1 mg/kg/day PO from Day 1 (maximum, 60-80 mg/day) tapered over 14 days with maximum of 20 mg/day
1.2 Cyclophosphamide
1.3 Rituximab
  • Parenteral regimen
    • Preferred regimen (1): Rituximab 375 mg/m2 IV q1week for 4 doses
    • Alternative regimen (1): Rituximab 1g IV q2weekly for 2 doses
1.4 Methotrexate
  • Parenteral regimen[3]
    • Preferred regimen (1): Methotrexate 7.5 mg IM/SQ q1weekly till 1 year or remission.
  • Oral regimen
    • Preferred regimen (1): Methotrexate 7.5 mg PO q1weekly till 1 year or remission.
  • It is used in patients without any end organ damage and no life threatening disease.[4]
  • Relapse rate are higher with Methotrexate.[5]
  • Patients using methotrexate should also receive glucocorticoids.
1.4 Azathioprine
  • Oral regimen
    • Preferred regimen (1): Azathioprine 2 mg/kg/day PO for 6 months

2. Plasma exchange

  • Plasma exchange accompanies the pharmacological treatment

Some guidelines for which drug to choose.[1]

  • In localized disease, treatment with the antibiotic co-trimoxazole is recommended, with steroids in case of treatment failure.[6]
  • In generalized non-organ threatening disease, remission can be induced with methotrexate and steroids, where the steroid dose is reduced after a remission has been achieved and methotrexate used as maintenance.
  • In case of organ-threatening disease, pulsed intravenous cyclophosphamide with steroids is recommended. Once remission has been achieved, azathioprine and steroids can be used to maintain remission.
  • In severe renal vasculitis, the same regimen is used but with the addition of plasma exchange.
  • In pulmonary hemorrhage, high doses of cyclophosphamide with pulsed methylprednisolone may be used, or alternatively CYC, steroids, and plasma exchange.

In severe disease not responsive to previously mentioned treatment, mycophenolate mofetil, 15-deoxyspergualin, anti-thymocyte globulin, rituximab and infliximab; intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and etanercept.[1]

Other medicines

During the course of treating Wegener's granulomatosis, doctors often give their patients other medicines to prevent medicine-related side effects. These include

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (also called bactrim or septra) is given three times a week to prevent Pneumocystis carinii infection (a lung infection)
  • A medicine regimen is often given to prevent prednisone-related bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • Folic acid or folinic acid (also called leucovorin) are often given to people taking methotrexate


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bosch X, Guilabert A, Espinosa G, Mirapeix E (2007). "Treatment of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody associated vasculitis: a systematic review". JAMA. 298 (6): 655–69. doi:10.1001/jama.298.6.655. PMID 17684188.
  2. Flossmann O, Berden A, de Groot K, Hagen C, Harper L, Heijl C, Höglund P, Jayne D, Luqmani R, Mahr A, Mukhtyar C, Pusey C, Rasmussen N, Stegeman C, Walsh M, Westman K (March 2011). "Long-term patient survival in ANCA-associated vasculitis". Ann. Rheum. Dis. 70 (3): 488–94. doi:10.1136/ard.2010.137778. PMID 21109517.
  3. Specks U (August 2005). "Methotrexate for Wegener's granulomatosis: what is the evidence?". Arthritis Rheum. 52 (8): 2237–42. doi:10.1002/art.21146. PMID 16052540.
  4. Langford CA, Talar-Williams C, Sneller MC (August 2000). "Use of methotrexate and glucocorticoids in the treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis. Long-term renal outcome in patients with glomerulonephritis". Arthritis Rheum. 43 (8): 1836–40. doi:10.1002/1529-0131(200008)43:8<1836::AID-ANR20>3.0.CO;2-R. PMID 10943874.
  5. De Groot K, Rasmussen N, Bacon PA, Tervaert JW, Feighery C, Gregorini G, Gross WL, Luqmani R, Jayne DR (August 2005). "Randomized trial of cyclophosphamide versus methotrexate for induction of remission in early systemic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis". Arthritis Rheum. 52 (8): 2461–9. doi:10.1002/art.21142. PMID 16052573.
  6. Stegeman CA, Tervaert JW, de Jong PE, Kallenberg CG (1996). "Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (co-trimoxazole) for the prevention of relapses of Wegener's granulomatosis. Dutch Co-Trimoxazole Wegener Study Group". N. Engl. J. Med. 335 (1): 16–20. PMID 8637536.

Template:WikiDoc Sources