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Definition of Polyarteritis nodosa

Polyarteritis nodosa: An autoimmune disease that is characterized by spontaneous inflammation of the arteries (arteritis) and can affect any organ of the body. Polyarteritis nodosa most commonly affects muscles, joints, intestines, nerves, kidneys, and skin. Inflammation of the arteries can lead to inadequate blood supply and permanent damage to organs. Typically, polyarteritis nodosa is treated with medications that suppress the immune system, such as prednisone and cyclophosphamide.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4978
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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