Polyarteritis nodosa

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2015;41(1):33-46, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2014.09.005.


Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a systemic disease, but variants are cutaneous PAN and single-organ disease. Histologic confirmation of vasculitis in medium-sized arteries is desirable, and biopsies should be obtained from the symptomatic and least invasive sites. Angiography can show multiple microaneurysms in the viscera. Treatment includes high-dose corticosteroids, which are combined with immunosuppressive agents when internal organs are involved and with life-threatening disease. Once remission is achieved, maintenance agents are initiated. PAN is becoming a rare disease. International collaborative efforts are under way to establish better diagnostic and classification for all vasculitides, including PAN.

Keywords: Medium vessel vasculitis; Polyarteritis nodosa; Systemic necrotizing vasculitis; Vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Angiography*
  • Biopsy*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Hepatitis B / complications
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / diagnosis*
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / drug therapy
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / etiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents