What is Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA)
Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is an autoimmune related disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis), which can lead to organ damage. The kidneys, lungs, nerves, skin, and joints are the most commonly affected areas of the body. MPA is diagnosed in people of all ages, all ethnicities, and both genders. The cause of this disorder is unknown.
Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is a disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis), which can lead to organ damage. The kidneys, lungs, nerves, skin, and joints are the most commonly affected areas of the body. MPA is diagnosed in people of all ages, all ethnicities, and both genders. The cause of this disorder is unknown.
The symptoms of MPA depend on which blood vessels are involved and what organs in the body are affected. The most common symptoms of MPA include kidney inflammation, weight loss, skin lesions, nerve damage, and fevers. Other symptoms depending on the area(s) of the body affected may include:
Lungs-cough, breathing problems, spitting up blood
Gastrointestinal-bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, abdominal pain
Brain/neurological-tingling, pain, weakness, loss of sensation, seizures
Musculoskeletal-joint pain, muscle pain
The cause of MPA is unknown. It is not contagious, does not usually run in families, and is not a form of cancer. The immune system is thought to play a critical role in the development of MPA. It is thought that the immune system becomes overactive and causes blood vessel and tissue inflammation, which leads to organ damage. It is not known what causes the immune system to become overactive.
This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
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