We reviewed ten cases of Wegener's granulomatosis with special emphasis on the characteristics of the early stage of Wegener's granulomatosis. All patients presented with nonspecific symptoms and signs, so that Wegener's granulomatosis was not initially considered. However, half of the patients had clinical or radiologic disease in the nose/or paranasal sinuses as the primary presenting problems and showed neutrophil microabscess surrounded by palisading epithelioid cells and irregularly arranged giant cells in the nasal biopsy as the most characteristic feature. Five of ten patients were believed to have a protracted superficial phenomenon before involvement of other organs, specifically the lung or kidney. Four of ten patients showed nonreactivity to ANCA test at the time of presentation. Although the number of cases reviewed in this study was small, the rate of nonreactivity to ANCA was higher than those of the larger series. The importance of early diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis can not be overemphasized in view of the fact that cases unrecognized clinicopathologically finally progress to full-blown systemic form of Wegener's granulomatosis with poor prognosis. The diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis should be based on a thorough and meticulous examination of its characteristic histologic changes in biopsied tissue particularly extravascular foci.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes