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Definition of Polyarteritis nodosa

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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