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.

Etiology:

Unknown, yet the disease presents autoimmune-like in nature – Arteries become swollen and damaged from attack by rogue immune cells.

Manifestations:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches
  •  

    Pathophysiology

    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.

     

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