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A prompt response to glucocorticoids is a clinical hallmark of IgG4-related disease. However, manifestations characterised by prominent tissue fibrosis on histological examination can be less responsive to glucocorticoid therapy than other types of IgG4-related disease. These manifestations include retroperitoneal fibrosis, fibrosing mediastinitis, Riedel thyroiditis, orbital pseudotumor, and hypertrophic pachymeningitis, among others. To explain this discrepancy, a preliminary distinction into proliferative and fibrotic phenotypes of IgG4-related disease has been proposed on the basis of clinical presentation, pathological features, and response to immunosuppressive therapy. Implications of this classification for patient management remain an important area of investigation. In this Series paper, we aim to dissect the pathophysiology of tissue fibrosis in IgG4-related disease and discuss how clinicians should approach the management of fibrotic manifestations of IgG4-related disease based on the most recent diagnostic and therapeutic developments.

Original publication




Journal article


The Lancet. Rheumatology

Publication Date



Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy; Unit of Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergy and Rare Diseases, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.