Q:

What is Wegener's disease and kidney failure?

A:

Quick Answer

Wegener's granulomatosis is a condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, and if left untreated, can cause kidney failure due to the reduction in blood supply. With early diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis for patients is good; however, untreated Wegener's disease leads to death within a few months, according to MedlinePlus.

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Mayo Clinic notes that the initial stages of Wegener's disease affect the respiratory tract. However, unlike a respiratory infection, the condition does not respond to normal medications and the condition grows worse quickly. To make the diagnosis, the doctor orders blood tests. Doctors confirm suspected cases using biopsies of affected tissues.

Mayo Clinic recommends treatment using several different drugs, including corticosteroids, immune system suppressants and biologic therapy. If patients do not respond to these medications, the doctor sometimes recommends the use of experimental drugs. Once the patient recovers from Wegener's disease, he needs an additional two years of maintenance treatment. In patients where the disease has progressed to the serious stage, plasma exchange causes the body to produce new blood plasma to help heal the kidneys. With severe kidney damage, patients require transplants.

MedlinePlus reports that the symptoms return in about half the patients after treatment. Most of the time, the return of Wegener's disease occurs within two years of stopping maintenance therapy.

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Related Questions

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    What are some signs and symptoms of Wegener's disease?

    A:

    Symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis include shortness of breath, chest pain, joint swelling and aches, skin sores, sinus inflammation and pain, and nosebleeds, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients may also suffer from a constantly runny nose, unintended weight loss, ear infections, blood in the urine and a fever.

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  • Q:

    What are some treatment options for Wegener's lung disease?

    A:

    Doctors usually treat Wegener's granulomatosis with medications, such as corticosteroids and immune suppressants, and with biologic therapy, explains Mayo Clinic. If standard treatments are ineffective, a physician may opt to use experimental medications. Other treatments include plasmapheresis and surgery.

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    What is Wegner's granulomatosis?

    A:

    Wegner's granulomatosis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the veins and arteries of the nasal passages, lungs and kidneys, according to MedlinePlus. Because these blood vessels supply blood to these organs, the inflammation can cause damage due to restricted blood flow. This condition is also referred to as granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

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    What is Perthes disease?

    A:

    Perthes disease is a condition where the blood supply to the head of the thighbone, or femur, is intermittent, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Because of this, the cells in the bone start to die. This disease is found in children.

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