Microscopic Polyangiitis

What is Microscopic Polyangiitis?

Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) is a rare form of vasculitis that mainly affects small and medium-sized blood vessels. The disease commonly affects the lungs, kidneys, skin, ears, joints, muscles, and nervous system but can affect most parts of the body including the eyes, heart, and instestines. Involvement and severity varies widely from patient to patient, from mild to life-threatening.

Who gets Microscopic Polyangiitis?

MPA can affect children and adults, and occurs in both males and females. Although Caucasians are affected more often, people all over the world can get MPA.

What causes Microscopic Polyangiitis?

Microscopic polyangiitis is thought to be an auto-immune disease, but the cause is unknown.

How is Microscopic Polyangiitis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of MPA made by combining clinical features with laboratory tests (including blood tests for ANCA antibodies) and tissue biopsies.

What is the treatment of Microscopic Polyangiitis?

Like Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s), treatment for MPA usually includes a combination of prednisone  and an immunosuppressive drug such as cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, or azathioprine. If diagnosed early, treatment can produce remission and prevent organ damage. Although many patients with MPA suffer relapses after periods of remission and may require medication long-term to reduce the risk of relapse, many patients have only one episode MPA.

*Note: This content has been adapted from the VCRC website