Pulmonary Wegener's granulomatosis. A clinical and imaging study of 77 cases

Chest. 1990 Apr;97(4):906-12. doi: 10.1378/chest.97.4.906.


We studied 77 patients with biopsy-proven WG and pulmonary manifestations, to characterize the nature and frequency of the clinical, imaging and endoscopic features of this condition. Pulmonary symptoms were cough, mild dyspnea, hemoptysis and chest pain. Five patients had no pulmonary symptoms. Imaging features consisted of nodules, infiltrates and pleural opacities. A CT scan proved useful by disclosing cavities in opacities or opacities which were not seen on an x-ray film. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy was performed in 74 patients, and it was macroscopically abnormal in 55 percent (showing bronchial inflammation or stenosis or both or isolated hemorrhage). Six patients presented with alveolar hemorrhagic syndrome. Four patients had a pleural exudate rich in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The WG was limited to the lung in seven patients. Sixteen patients died because of active disease or iatrogenic complications (two). An improved knowledge of clinical and imaging features of WG could help the clinician reach an earlier diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Female
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / diagnosis*
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography