Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shares some clinical features with new-onset granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) or GPA flare that may lead to a challenge in differential diagnosis. To date, little is known whether GPA can be induced by COVID-19. Herein, we aimed to seek the frequency and mortality rates of COVID-19 in our GPA cohort, and along with the literature cases, to evaluate clinical features and treatments of GPA patients with COVID-19. We also tried to identify clinical features of COVID-19 induced GPA. Materials and methods: As of July 2021, we conducted a systematic literature review using different spelling combinations of "COVID-19 and GPA" in the PUBMED database. In total, 18 cases were found in the literature, 6 of them had COVID-19 induced GPA. T he remaining 12 of literature cases and 6 cases in our GPA cohort (n = 81) had a COVID-19 infection while followed-up with GPA. We grouped these 18 patients as GPA+COVID-19. Results: The frequency of COVID-19 was 7.4% in GPA cohort and mortality rate was 33% in GPA patients with COVID-19. The most common symptoms of GPA+COVID-19 patients were fever, cough, arthralgia/myalgia, and malaise. The most frequent treatments for GPA before the COVID-19 infection were steroids (72%) and rituximab (56%). Three patients who received rituximab also had COVID-19 reinfection. In the literature cases, mortality was observed in 4 (22%) of 18 patients with GPA+COVID-19. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 induced GPA were dyspnea, fever and cough. Conclusion: In our GPA cohort, we observed a higher mortality rate compared to global WHO data. In patients followed up with GPA, rituximab treatment may be precarious for both COVID-19 disease and reinfection. Our study also provided some clues about the diagnostic challenge of GPA induced by COVID-19.


Coronavirus disease 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Wegener's granulomatosis, rituximab

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