(PAN; Periarteritis Nodosa)
DefinitionPolyarteritis nodosa is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system is your body’s defense system. It fights diseases and infections. An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your body's immune system mistakenly attacks your own body. With polyarteritis nodosa, medium-sized arteries and, less commonly, small arteries become inflamed and damaged. The inflammation of the arteries affects many different organs.
CausesThe cause of polyarteritis nodosa is unknown. In relatively rare cases, however, it occurs with hepatitis B virus infection or hairy cell leukemia.
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of developing polyarteritis nodosa include:
- Age: 40 to 60 years old, although it can occur at any age
- Gender: More common in males
- Hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection
- Hairy cell leukemia
- IV drug use
SymptomsPolyarteritis nodosa is a multisystem disease. This means that it affects many parts of your body at the same time. It can affect organs such as the skin, kidney, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.Often, you will experience headache, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, and fever. Other symptoms include:
- Open sores on the skin
- Small bumps under the skin
- Death of skin tissues
Cut-Away View of Skin with Bruise Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
- Nervous system:
- Tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in your feet, hands, legs, arms, and face
- Decreased alertness
- Inability to think clearly
- Protein in the urine
- Hypertension—high blood pressure
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloody and non-bloody diarrhea
- Heart problems
- Vision problems
Detachment of Retina Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
- Genital sores
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