Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis is a group of rare diseases involvingof your small to medium-sized blood vessels. This inflammation reduces blood flow, which can result in damage to your organs. While your genetics and environment are probable factors that cause the disease, the exact cause isn’t known yet.
The two most common types of ANCA-associated vasculitis are GPA (granulomatosis with polyangiitis, previously called Wegener’s granulomatosis) and MPA (microscopic polyangiitis).
What you need to know about GPA
In GPA, affected tissues can develop, or small areas of inflammation. Signs of GPA usually start in the nose, ears, eyes, or mouth, but it can also affect the lungs and kidneys. If you have GPA, you may experience serious complications, such as hearing loss, kidney damage, skin scarring, or blood clots if your condition is not managed.
What you need to know about MPA
MPA also affects the lungs and kidneys, but unlike GPA, the ears, nose, and throat are less affected and there is no formation of granulomas. Aside from kidney and lung complications, those living with MPA may experience stomach or intestinal issues, nerve damage, and skin symptoms.
How do you treat ANCA-associated vasculitis?
There is no cure for ANCA-associated vasculitis, but treatments are available to help manage the disease. A combination of, including steroids, is commonly prescribed. The goal of treatment is to help you achieve and sustain by reducing inflammation.
However, somecan be toxic. While steroids may help with your ANCA-associated vasculitis, they are harmful when used at higher doses and for a long period of time. Long-term use of steroids may cause side effects that include diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, osteoporosis, and changes to your appearance.
Additionally,is persistent with some . While relapse is common with ANCA-associated vasculitis, it is often associated with serious damage to vital organs.
ANCA-associated vasculitis is a serious but
treatable disease. You and your doctor will work on
a treatment plan that works for you.