Polyarteritis nodosa

Polyarteritis nodosa (synonyms – panarteriit nodosa, periarteritis nodosa or disease Kussmaul-Maier) – inflammation of the arterial blood vessels of small and medium-sized, in which microaneurysms are formed, leading to progressive organ failure. Polyarteritis nodosa manifested by reactions associated with sensitive immune system. Over time, the walls of the blood vessels can thicken and lose their elasticity. Also limited local expansion of the lumen of the arteries is possible due to stretching and bulging of the walls (the appearance of microaneurysms), whose formation under the skin sometimes resembles a string of pearls to the touch. Since this disease all the arteries of the human body can be affected, so the impact may be different depending on the location of the defeat. Usually artery leg, forearm and blood vessels of the internal organs are affected.

The greatest danger occurs when damage to the heart and kidneys (which may lead to renal failure, myocardial infarction or heart failure).


  • Emaciation, weakness, lack of appetite.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Increase in temperature.
  • Skin rash, subcutaneous nodules.
  • Cramping.
  • Pain in the muscles and joints.
  • Diarrhea, nausea.
  • Pain in the heart.
  • Paralysis.


Causes of polyarteritis nodosa is currently not clear, probably there are many causes of the disease. It is assumed that it may be the result of inflammation, which is caused by bacteria or viruses. In addition, in some cases, doctors have a reasonable suspicion that the occurrence of the disease was influenced by certain drugs. It’s the most likely that the inflammation is caused by an immune response against the pathogen of allergic reaction. Men become ill with the disease is three times more likely than women. The disease usually begins in the 40-50-year-old.

Since the cause of polyarteritis nodosa is still not clear, then nothing can be done yourself.

The patient usually go to the doctor due to ill-health of a general nature such as fever with total weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, or pain in the joints and muscles.

The doctor will try first of all to make an accurate diagnosis. For this purpose, blood and urine tests are conducted in the laboratory. If the cause of the malady is polyarteritis nodosa, then biopsy is performed. To this end, a piece of tissue of blood vessels is taken and examined under a microscope. After receiving a response from the laboratory doctor prescribes medicines for each case.

Course of the disease

Course of the disease may be very different. Much depends on the extent of damage to vital organs, especially the heart and kidneys. Usually the disease is exacerbated periodically, and then dies down again. During illness there are fever, severe weight loss and nausea.

In addition, there are certain malfunctions of the nervous system (a combination of peripheral neuritis shin, elbow, radial, sural nerves, seizures), cardiac abnormalities (arrhythmias, coronary syndrome with ischemic, heart failure), skin changes (hemorrhagic purpura, nodules from aneurysmal changes arteries), etc.

Is it a dangerous disease?

In the absence of treatment in the first 5 years 90% of patients die (most due to renal failure). However, with proper and timely treatment (corticosteroids) disease and its complications, progression of periarteritis nodosa can be suspended. Currently, a full recovery is not possible.

Approximately a quarter of patients have lesions of the skin. Painful pea-sized nodules appear along the blood vessels of small and medium-sized. It’s not yet clear whether the disease is a form of polyarteritis nodosa, or an independent disease.