Treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis with immune globulin: CNS involvement in an adolescent female

Charles Thomas Taylor, Shauna M. Buring, Kelly H. Taylor

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) to treat Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) in an adolescent female with an abnormal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and electroencephalogram (EEG), as well as central nervous system involvement manifesting as generalized seizures. CASE SUMMARY: A 15-year-old white girl diagnosed with WG and receiving prednisone and cyclophosphamide was admitted with new-onset tonic-clonic seizures. The patient received phenobarbital and phenytoin to control seizures and was receiving cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids for WG. She developed cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis and was started on a four-day therapeutic course of IVIG following the discontinuation of cyclophosphamide. After 16 days of hospitalization, repeat EEG and MRI were within normal limits, and laboratory and clinical improvement was evident in at least nine of the affected organ systems including pulmonary, hematologic, renal, ocular, cutaneous, musculoskeletal, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary. The patient was discharged with clinical involvement of WG documented in two organ systems, hematologic and renal. DISCUSSION: WG is a form of vasculitis believed to develop due to an autoimmune disorder. The diagnosis is based on radiographic and histopathologic findings, as well as the presence of elevated antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and a suggestive clinical presentation. The presentation is widely variable and is most commonly associated with upper-airway involvement such as sinusitis, cough, pulmonary infiltrates, and cavitary nodules. Renal involvement signifies generalized disease. Conventional treatment for WG includes cyclophosphamide and prednisone. Little information is available describing therapeutic alternatives. Cytotoxicity related to immunosuppressant regimens limits continuous treatment and may necessitate the use of alternative agents. CONCLUSIONS: This case describes the use of IVIG in an adolescent patient presenting with WG as a generalized, active disease with neurologic complications. IVIG may be useful in generalized, active WG complicated by intolerance to cyclophosphamide and seizures, but further study is necessary to define its role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1059
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Oct 1999

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Keywords

  • Immune globulin
  • Vasculitis
  • Wegener's granulomatosis

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