Methylprednisolone and plasmapheresis are effective for life-threatening diffuse alveolar hemorrhage and gastrointestinal hemorrhage in granulomatosis with polyangiitis: A case report and literature review

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The treatment of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) with life-threatening complications, such as diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) and gastrointestinal hemorrhage (GIH), remains challenging.

Patient concerns:

A 70-year-old female presented with a 6-month history of a productive cough and a 10-day history of arthralgia that progressed to respiratory failure and massive hematochezia.


Chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) revealed multiple nodules, masses, and cavities. Urinalysis indicated microscopic hematuria. Test of proteinase3-anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (PR3-ANCA) was positive.


The patient was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) and successfully treated with glucocorticoid pulse therapy and plasmapheresis. We combined mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) with glucocorticoid for maintenance treatment.


The patient survived and is in a stable condition. We report this case that presented with a productive cough, followed by arthralgia, DAH, and GIH.


Effective remission-induction therapy is a key to survival, while maintaining a balance between immunosuppression and avoiding infection is another challenge.

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