Child: immunological question

David Bohmert globsci at ix.netcom.com
Sun Nov 10 10:11:04 EST 1996


I should like to say first that I am not a physician, the information I
am forwarding to you is from "THE MERCK MANUAL". (The book can be
purchased in any book store).

The disease you refer to is "WEGENER'S GRANULOMATOSIS". The disease is
fundamentally an autoimmmune response, in other words, the body is
making antibodies against "itself". The "vasculitis" you make reference
to is the inflammation process and its affect on surrounding veins and
capillaries. The inflammation process is normally activated in
infections. The infammation process is biochemically extremely powerful
when directed against infectious agents. The process is extremely
damaging to small arteries and veins when the process is instigated by
an "autoimmune" response." Complexes of proteins are formed which can
ultimately circulate to the kidneys and cause damage. The Immune system
has gone out of control. The disease is very complicated. 

Onset of the disease may be insidious, (slow to present itself) or it
may be acute (arise quickly). Early diagnosis and treatment are
crucial, since a remission rate (fall off of the disease) is now
possible. Pulmonary (lungs) manifestations may improve or worsen
spontaneously. 

Prognosis, once fatal, has been dramatically improved by treatment with
immunosuppressive agents, (drugs that slow down the "out of control"
immune system. There can be many side effects with the therapy. The
good news is...LONG TERM COMPLETE REMISSION CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH
THERAPY, EVEN WITH ADVANCED DISEASE.

I hope this helps, good luck with your family.





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