Here is a definition and symptoms of Microscopic Polyangiitis, copied from http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/education/forms/microscopic-polyangiitis/ website for those of you who are wondering what that might be. Check out the site for further details if you like.
What is Microscopic Polyangiitis?
Microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) is a small vessel vasculitis which primarily affects the arterioles (small arteries), capillaries and venules (small veins). Since patients with this condition often have a positive blood test known as an antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA), it is also a form of “ANCA-associated vasculitis”. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA/Wegener’s) is a related condition that shares features with MPA including the presence of ANCA.
The cause of MPA is not known. This condition can affect many organ systems in the body including the skin, nerves, lungs gastrointestinal system, lungs and joints. It is a treatable condition and the goal of therapy is to stop further damage to the organs from inflammation in the blood vessels.
Who gets Microscopic Polyangiitis?
MPA is an uncommon condition. It can occur at any age, but typically affects people in their in the fifth and sixth decades of life. Men may be affected slightly more than women. It is more commonly observed in Caucasians and is rarer in other ethnic groups.
Since MPA is a systemic disease, it can affect almost any organ system in the body. Therefore, the symptoms depend on the area involved. They can vary from person to person and not all symptoms are present in everyone with the diagnosis. People with MPA often feel sick and unwell.
Symptoms may include:
- decreased appetite
- rapid and sudden weight loss
- “flu-like” symptoms
- rashes (usually over the legs)
- muscle aches
- joint pain
- shortness of breath
- coughing up blood
- abdominal pain with food
- involvement of the nerves with new numbness, tingling or sudden loss of strength with inability to lift your foot (so called “foot drop”) or wrist (“wrist drop”)