Matthew Koster, MD: Identifying GPA and Other Forms of Vasculitis

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Because vasculitis can manifest in various ways, Matthew Koster, MD, talks about identifying Granulomatosis with polyangiitis and other forms of the disease.

In this interview, Matthew Koster, MD, Mayo Clinic Rheumatology, expanded on the burden of vasculitis. He stressed the importance of being aware of the disease and the various ways it presents because the sooner it's identified, the less damage is done to the patient's organs.

Koster joined Kenneth Warrington, MD, and Tanaz Kermani, MD, MS, for a program called Institutional Perspectives in Rheumatology: ANCA-associated Vasculitis, as part of HCPLive’s® State of the Science series. The rheumatologists discussed the current state of vasculitis care.

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is one of the conditions that's more common in the US and Europe compared with other parts of the world. Because, overall, it isn't a common condition and some of the symtoms can be mistaken for recurrent sinus infections, Koster suggests becoming familiar with the different forms and populations it presents in.

"So, about 1 in 20 people can have chronic sinusitis, as opposed to kind of the frequency of about 10 per million for GPA," Koster explained. "So, sometimes it's hard to differentiate between those 2, especially if they don't have other symptoms."

"In the concerning patients, if they have sinus symptoms, often they'll have other things," he continued, "so kind of lung involvement, skin involvement, elevated inflammatory markers, decreased hemoglobin, elevated platelet count, so other findings that raise the suspicion. But there are patients who can have isolated or limited disease to the sinuses that can make it challenging to identify."