Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding as the First Manifestation of Wegener’s Granulomatosis

Hamid Tavakkoli, Mehdi Zoberi, Mansour Salesi, Mohammad Hossein Sanei


Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon inflammatory disease that manifests as vasculitis, granulomatosis, and necrosis. It usually involves the upper and lower respiratory tracts and kidneys. Although it may essentially involve any organ, gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is notably uncommon.

A 20-year-old male patient presented with epigastric pain, vomiting, hematemesis, and melena. On physical examination, he was pale. There was no abdominal tenderness or organomegaly. Upper GI endoscopy revealed dark blue-colored infiltrative lesions in prepyloric area. Evaluation of the biopsy sample showed mononuclear cell infiltration in the submucosal area, hyperplastic polyp, and chronic gastritis. High dose proton pump inhibitor and adjunctive supportive measures were given but no change in the follow-up endoscopy was detected. During hospital course, he developed intermittent fever and serum creatinine elevation. 12 days after admission, he developed dyspnea, tachypnea, and painful swelling of metacarpophalangeal joints, and maculopapular rash in extensor surface of the right forearm. Chest radiography showed pulmonary infiltration. Serum c-ANCA titer was strongly positive and skin biopsy revealed leukocytoclastic vasculitis. The patient received methylprednisolone pulse, which resulted in complete recovery of symptoms and gastric lesion.

The present case indicates that GI bleeding may be the first manifestation of Wegener's granulomatosis. Moreover, it should be emphasized that gastric biopsy is not characteristic or diagnostic in such patients.


Wegener's granulomatosis; Gastrointestinal symptoms, Vasculitis, ANCA

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