Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis: potentially lethal gingival lesions presenting to the dentist
  1. Amy Patrick1,2 and
  2. Keith Altman2
  1. 1 Oral Surgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, East Grinstead, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Patrick, amy.patrick{at}


Gingival pathology is a daily presentation, however a small number of systemic conditions can manifest similar to a common gingival condition and have fatal results. Dentist referred 56-year-old woman to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery department with a 2-week medical history of gingival bleeding not responding to local measures. Biopsy showed eosinophilic infiltrate and vasculitis, and blood tests showed positive markers including cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmatic antibodies. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis is a rare disease affecting the respiratory tract, blood vessels and kidneys. Oral lesions are rarely the primary presenting feature. When left untreated, most cases are fatal within a year of diagnosis. The diagnosis can only be made when certain criteria are found, including granular oral lesions exhibiting an eosinophilic inflammatory infiltrate on biopsy. With 5% of cases showing intraoral lesions as the primary feature, it is essential that dentists have the knowledge of this rare disease to refer and not to treat as a common gingival condition.

  • dentistry and oral medicine
  • mouth
  • pathology
  • vasculitis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors AP: research and case report. KA: consultant surgeon for case.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.