What is the outlook for patients with microscopic polyangiitis (MPA)?
Because MPA is an uncommon disease, accurate statistics on overall outcomes are only approximate. On average, after 5 years of illness, over 80% of people have survived the effects of MPA. The outcome is strongly related to the severity of illness. Although MPA can be a progressive and serious illness, many people with MPA do extremely well.
Organ damage can best be minimized by prompt initiation of treatment followed by careful monitoring by a doctor who is knowledgeable about MPA. Even patients who have the most severe MPA can achieve remission when treated promptly and followed closely.
After achieving remission, it is possible for MPA to recur (often referred to as a "relapse"). Relapses occur in about 50% of people with MPA. Such relapses may be similar to what the patient experienced at the time of their diagnosis or they may be different. The likelihood of experiencing a severe relapse can be minimized by prompt reporting to the doctor of any new symptoms, regular doctor follow-up, and ongoing monitoring with laboratory tests and imaging. The treatment approach for relapses is similar to that of a newly diagnosed disease. Achieving remission is again possible for most people with MPA.