Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Polyarteritis nodosa

Other Names for this Disease
  • PAN
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Polyarteritis nodosa is a serious blood vessel disease in which medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged.[1] It occurs when certain immune cells attack the affected arteries preventing vital oxygen and nourishment. Signs and symptoms may include fever, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle and joint aches, and abdominal pain. The skin may show rashes, swelling, ulcers, and lumps.[2] When nerve cells are involved numbness, pain, burning, and weakness may be present.[2] Polyarteritis nodosa can cause serious health complications including strokes, seizures, and kidney failure. Treatment often includes steroids and other drugs to suppress the immune system.[2]
Last updated: 1/16/2012


  1. Sergent JS. Polyarteritis and Related Disorders. In: Firestein. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 8th ed. Philadelphia PA: WB Saunders Company; 2008;
  2. Polyarteritis nodosa. MedlinePlus. 2010; Accessed 1/16/2012.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

2 question(s) from the public on Polyarteritis nodosa have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The Johns Hopkins University Vasculitis Center has a Web page on polyarteritis nodosa. Click on the link above to view this information page.
  • The Cleveland Clinic Web site has an information page on polyarteritis nodosa. Click on the link above to view the information page.

In Depth Information

  • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • eMedicine has three articles on this topic from the perspective of Pediatric RheumatologyRheumatology, and Neurology. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Polyarteritis nodosa. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.