Pulmonary vasculitis

Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2006;3(1):48-57. doi: 10.1513/pats.200511-120JH.


Pulmonary vasculitis describes a number of distinct disorders that are pathologically characterized by the destruction of blood vessels. The clinical manifestations of each disorder are defined by the size, type, and location of the affected vasculature. The clinical approach to these disorders rests upon an astute clinician considering the diagnosis and identifying the specific patterns of clinical, radiologic, laboratory, and pathologic abnormalities. Lung involvement is most commonly seen with the primary, idiopathic, small-vessel, or antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides; Wegener's granulomatosis, microscopic polyangiitis, and Churg-Strauss syndrome. However, primary, idiopathic medium and large-vessel vasculitis, primary immune complex-mediated vasculitis, and secondary vasculitis are all capable of presenting with lung involvement. In this article, we focus on the more common, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated disorder, vasculitides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Vasculitis / diagnosis*


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic