Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies-associated vasculitis: a guide and case study
Vasculitis is a relatively rare and poorly understood condition causing inflammation of the blood vessels, which in turn can affect a patient's respiratory and renal systems. In some cases, ocular involvement can cause loss of sight and hearing loss may also be a red flag for vasculitis, which, if not treated early, can cause complete hearing loss. Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) is a group comprising granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) and eosinophilic granulomatosis (EGP). AAV is fatal if untreated and as increased risk escalates with age, coupled with a decline in renal function, these are the principal predictors of poor outcome. Vital roles for nursing vasculitis patients lie in managing inflammation and pain, as these distressing symptoms are prevalent in the disease. Because of the multiple complications that can occur with vasculitis, treatment-related information is a high priority for these patients. As nurses are well placed to deliver information, value lies in their role in reducing the negative impacts on treatment regimens and compliance that accompany patients' poor insight into their condition.
- Specialist Medicine