May also be called: Periarteritis Nodosa;Panarteritis Nodosa;Kussmaul's Disease
Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a rare disease affecting the blood
vessels. Small to medium-sized arteries become inflamed (this is called vasculitis),
causing damage to the arteries and the body's organs.
More to Know
Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to tissues and organs. With PAN, immune
cells attack the arteries, causing disruption in the blood supply. As a result, tissues
and organs can't receive enough oxygen and nourishment to function properly.
There is no known cause or cure for polyarteritis nodosa (pol-ee-ar-ter-EYE-tis
no-DOE-suh). People with active hepatitis
B and C are at higher risk for developing the condition.
Polyarteritis nodosa can involve many different areas of the body including the
skin, heart, kidneys, joints, nerves, muscles, and intestines.
Symptoms are wide-ranging and depend upon which organs are affected. They can include
skin rashes and ulcers, muscle and joint aches, fever, fatigue, weakness, abdominal
pain, and loss of appetite. Nerve pain and numbness also can be associated with PAN.
Serious complications can include strokes,
seizures, and kidney failure.
Keep in Mind
While polyarteritis nodosa can be serious, many people with the condition do very
well. Early diagnosis and treatment with immunosuppressant drugs can put people into
short- or long-term remission.
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