Polyarteritis nodosa

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[edit] Discussion of Polyarteritis nodosa

  • Polyarteritis nodosa is a necrotizing vasculitis that mainly involves small and medium-sized arteries.
  • Multiple aneurysm formation is a characteristic finding in polyarteritis nodosa (50%–60% of cases).
  • The kidney is most commonly involved (80%–90% of cases), followed by the gastrointestinal tract (50%–70%), liver (50%–60%), spleen (45%), and pancreas (25%–35%).
  • Specific complaints related to vascular involvement within a particular organ system include renal failure or hypertension in renal involvement; peripheral neuropathy in peripheral nervous system involvement; congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, or pericarditis in cardiac involvement; and rash, purpura, or nodules in skin involvement.


  • A definitive diagnosis may be made in certain clinical settings by performing tissue biopsy from a symptomatic organ site, but sampling errors and lack of disease specificity may be problematic.
  • If left untreated, the disease is fatal in most instances in association with renal failure, gastrointestinal complications such as bowel infarction or perforation, or cardiovascular causes.
  • Therapy with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide results in remission or cure in 90% of affected patients.

[edit] Imaging Findings for Polyarteritis nodosa

[edit] Angiography

  • The role of angiography is to help confirm or support the clinical impression when a suitable biopsy site is lacking or when the biopsy results are inconclusive.
  • Angiographic findings include aneurysms, ectasia, or occlusive disease.
  • Differential considerations include other types of vasculitis, such as rheumatoid vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Churg-Strauss syndrome.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Polyarteritis nodosa