Few people with polyarteritis nodosa have mild disease that remains stable with nonaggressive therapy; because of the risk for serious health complications, aggressive therapy is often recommended. Treatment may include prednisone in divided doses. Additional therapy, such as cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, azathioprine, methotrexate, dapsone, cyclosporine, or plasma exchange, may also be recommended. The goal of therapy is remission (to have no active disease) within 6 months or so. At this point the person may be maintained on cyclophosphamide (or other therapy) for a year, before it is tapered and withdrawn over the course of 3 to 6 months.It is very important that people undergoing treatment for polyarteritis nodosa be monitored closely for toxic effects of the drugs or for signs of worsening disease. This monitoring may involve blood counts, urinalyses, serum chemistries, and the ESR on at least monthly intervals.
- Sergent JS. Polyarteritis and Related Disorders. In: Firestein. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 8th ed. Philadelphia PA: WB Saunders Company; 2008;
- Polyarteritis nodosa. MedlinePlus. 2010; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001438.htm. Accessed 1/16/2012.
- ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Polyarteritis nodosa. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
- The Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) provides access to reports, data, and analyses of research activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research. Although these projects may not conduct studies on humans, you may want to contact the investigators to learn more. To search for studies, enter the disease name in the "Text Search" box. Then click "Submit Query".