A Case Series of Adult Patients Diagnosed with IgA Vasculitis Requiring Systemic Immunosuppression

Am J Case Rep. 2021 Dec 8:22:e933407. doi: 10.12659/AJCR.933407.


BACKGROUND IgA vasculitis (IgAV) is a rare and potentially life-threatening small-vessel vasculitis in adults. The disease course is often more severe than its childhood counterpart. The disease is noted for its heterogeneous presentation with varying severity. There are no current treatment guidelines for severe multi-organ involvement of IgAV. The treatment approaches based on the clinical discretion of treating doctors remain controversial, especially regarding the role, duration, and type of immunosuppression. CASE REPORT We present 3 cases of severe multi-organ IgAV encountered at our tertiary referral center between 2016 and 2021, which were treated with different immunosuppression regimens, including combination of systemic corticosteroids, oral immunosuppressants (azathioprine, mycophenolate, and sirolimus), rituximab, and cyclophosphamide. In these patients, IgAV presented differently but were all organ-threatening or life-threatening in nature. IgAV in all patients responded to therapies; however, infection complicating underlying comorbidities was the cause of death in 1 patient and the cause of comorbidities in the other 2. Other treatment-related complications included weight gain, adrenal insufficiency, and secondary hypogammaglobulinemia. CONCLUSIONS IgAV can be a polyphasic and a potentially challenging severe organ-threatening disease to treat in adults. The outcomes presented here highlight the morbidity and substantial risks involved in treating complex IgAV patients. Early use of biologics may have a role in preventing treatment-related toxicity. Further studies on IgAV in adults are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Humans
  • IgA Vasculitis*
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Vasculitis*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Rituximab