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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Abstract

Rationale:

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.

Diagnoses:

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.

Interventions:

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.

Outcomes:

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.

Lessons:

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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