Background: The clinical manifestations and outcome of all adult patients with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), allocated during a 15-year period in the largest medical center in Israel, were examined.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with PAN who fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1990 Classification Criteria and were either biopsy- or angiography-proven.
Results: Nine patients were included in the report. The clinical and laboratory manifestations were similar to those in previous studies. All patients were treated with combinations of cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids. There were two (22%) deaths, 2 and 5 months after initiation of treatment in patients who probably had microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) rather than classical PAN. Considering the patients with a complete follow-up, 71% had a complete and long-term remission. Moreover, by exclusion of the two patients with probable MPA who died, all of the five patients with classical PAN were alive and well as of this writing. Two patients (22%) had a long history, since childhood, of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).
Conclusions: The clinical presentation and course of PAN in Israeli patients is comparable with reports elsewhere. However, a distinction should be made between PAN and MPA. The present report emphasizes the good long-term prognosis of patients with typical PAN who are treated adequately. In addition, a possible association of PAN with FMF in Israeli patients is suggested.