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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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.
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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 for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.
  • 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

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • 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.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • 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.
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.