Polyarteritis nodosa (Kussmaul disease or Kussmaul-Maier disease)
A vasculitis of medium-sized arteries.
A progressive disease of connective tissue that is characterized by nodules along arteries; nodules may block the artery and result in inadequate circulation to the area distal to the node.
Unknown, yet the disease presents autoimmune-like in nature – Arteries become swollen and damaged from attack by rogue immune cells.
Treatment and Prognosis:
Treatment involves medications to suppress the immune system, including prednisone and cyclophosphamide. Therapy results in remissions or cures in 90% of cases. Untreated, the disease is fatal in most cases.