Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a necrotising granulomatous disease affecting the upper and/or lower respiratory tracts and is associated with focal glomerulonephritis. Formerly believed to be a multisystem disease, a localised form (LWG) is now recognised as a distinct subtype. We describe 6 cases of LWG with no renal or pulmonary involvement detected at the presentation or during follow-up. The total follow-up period ranged from 3 to 7 years in 5 cases. The diagnosis was based on clinical features, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody test and histological findings (necrotising granulomatous vasculitis, epithelioid granulomas with varying degrees of chronic inflammatory cells). All patients responded to standard immunosuppressive treatment. Our cases highlight the predilection of LWG for the head and neck region and hence these patients frequently present in the ENT departments. LWG has been discussed as a subtype of WG with a better prognosis and the previous literature has been reviewed on this subject. A high index of suspicion helped by serology and histology enables an early diagnosis, and commencement of proper treatment can prevent the irreversible destructive lesions.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel