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Front Neurol


Microscopic Polyangiitis With Selective Involvement of Central and Peripheral Nervous System: A Case Report.


Arienti F, Franco G, Monfrini E, Santaniello A, Bresolin N, Saetti M C, Di Fonzo A
Front Neurol. 2020; 11:269.
PMID: 32411070.


Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is a necrotizing vasculitis that affects predominantly small-sized vessels in many organ systems. The disease generally causes glomerulonephritis, pulmonary damage, arthritis, and neuropathy. An exclusive involvement of both central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS) is extremely rare. A 62-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with a 3 months history of right foot drop, recently complicated by intense myalgia, arthralgia, and allodynia to tactile, vibratory, and pressure stimuli. Since blood tests revealed elevated inflammatory indexes, we suspected either infectious or immune-mediated disorders. Chest radiograph, blood culture series, and echocardiogram revealed normal findings, while urinalysis showed a bacterial infection that was successfully treated. The neurophysiological findings were compatible with multiple mononeuritis, and a brain MRI evidenced ischemic lesions of both basal ganglia and thalamus. A wide-spectrum autoantibody assay revealed the presence of high-titer perinuclear anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO-ANCA). According to these findings, the diagnosis of MPA was made, and the patient was successfully treated with intravenous (IV) methylprednisolone, followed by two doses of rituximab. An assessment of both CNS and PNS should be included in the diagnostic evaluation of MPA. The involvement of the PNS may raise the risk of a relapsing course and treatment failure, therefore it should be considered in the choice of induction and maintenance therapy.