About allergic granulomatosis and angiitis

What is allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

Allergic granulomatosis and angiitis or Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a condition that affects the small blood vessels and capillaries in the body. It is an extremely rare condition and causes inflammation of these small blood vessels that leads to blocking of the airways and other passages in the body. As the blood flow is often restricted due to the swelling of the blood vessels, many organs get permanently damaged if the condition is not treated on time. The condition gives rise to anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis that primarily affects the respiratory tract. But, the allergic reaction can spread to other organs or even affect the nerves and muscles. While the main casual agents are not confirmed, it is stated that this allergic condition arises from eosinophils or allergic blood cells that are altered due to genetic mutation. In a normal person, the eosinophils account for about 5 per cent of the total white blood cell count. In people affected with allergic granulomatosis and angiitis, the percentage is about 10 percent or more. People who have a tendency to get asthma or allergies are at higher risk of developing this condition.



What are the symptoms for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

The symptoms of allergic granulomatosis and angiitis vary depending on which organ or physiological character is primarily affected. The primary condition associated with allergic granulomatosis and angiitis is vasculitis. Vasculitis is the clinical term defining the inflammation of blood vessels. Along with vasculitis, asthma is also an onset of allergic granulomatosis and angiitis. The symptoms are associated with these conditions and include:

 

Fever
Fatigue
Weight loss
Breathing difficulties
Constantly feeling the nose is blocked
Appetite loss
Night sweats
Joint pains
Muscle pains
Numbness of limbs
Rashes with Hives on the skin
Skin Sores or bumps
Coughing up blood

 

If organs like the heart of the kidney are affected, then symptoms related to blocked arteries in these organs are seen. People can show signs of endomyocardial fibrosis or heart failure when the heart is affected. In the case of the kidneys, the symptoms include abdominal pain, excessive urination, and nosebleed.



What are the causes for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

The cause of allergic granulomatosis and angiitis is associated with the presence of a higher number of eosinophils in the system. Most confuse allergic granulomatosis and angiitis with autoimmune disorders due to the fact that it is the immune system that causes havoc within the body. eosinophils are components of white blood cells and are usually associated with fighting infections. But, the initial cause for this high number of eosinophils is still not confirmed. Two causal aspects that are often considered are:

Genetic is when the gene responsible for producing the cells is mutated. But, this condition is not hereditary and hence, the exact cause for the mutation cannot be determined.

Environmental is when exposure to allergens or pollutants can lead to the development of allergic granulomatosis and angiitis.



What are the treatments for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

The treatment for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis uses two categories of drugs, namely corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. In order to confirm the disease, tests are conducted. These include biopsy of the cells of the affected organ. Once vasculitis is confirmed, the levels of eosinophils are measured and also the person’s risk factor is assessed. Once all these diagnostic steps are done, the treatment commences. Doctors can prescribe either only corticosteroids for people who show milder symptoms to a mix of both corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs for more severe cases. The usage of these drugs is based on the following benefits provided by medications:


Corticosteroids - this group of steroids are used to control the inflammation of the blood vessels. Since corticosteroids have proven to work on people suffering only from allergic reactions or asthma, they also work on allergic granulomatosis and angiitis.


Immunosuppressant drugs - these drugs, as the name suggests, work to suppress the immune system’s overactivity. People whose immune systems act against their own cells have been prescribed these drugs to prevent the immune system from causing excessive damage to organs.



What are the risk factors for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

Allergic granulomatosis and angiitis is a rare disorder and vary in terms of severity. If not treated on time, allergic granulomatosis and angiitis can affect multiple organs and even lead to heart failure or kidney failure. Some of the most common conditions associated with allergic granulomatosis and angiitis are:

·        Glomerulitis

·        Acaculous cholecystitis

·        Mesenteric Ischemia

·        Myalgias

·        Arthritis

 

While medications are present, the medications have side effects that lead to other health disorders. Corticosteroids cause weight gain and weaken the bones. These steroids can also cause diabetes and cataracts. The immunosuppressive drugs hinder the working of the immune system. This leaves the body susceptible to various infections and diseases like the common cold.

 



Is there a cure/medications for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis?

As of now, there is no specific cure for allergic granulomatosis and angiitis. This can be because the actual cause behind this condition is not known. Often people who develop signs or symptoms are because organs or nerves and joints are affected. This also leads to the treatment being targeted for just that specific condition. For example, if a person develops asthma due to allergic granulomatosis and angiitis, they are treated just for asthma and not the condition that leads to the development of asthmatic attacks. People who are often diagnosed with allergic granulomatosis and angiitis have managed to lead a normal life with minor inconveniences that are taken care of with the help of medications. They also incorporate exercises and supplements to counter the adverse effects of the drugs used for the treatment.



Video related to allergic granulomatosis and angiitis