Polyarteritis nodosa

Periarteritis nodosa; PAN; Systemic necrotizing vasculitis

Polyarteritis nodosa is a serious blood vessel disease. The small and medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged.

Artery cut section

The structure of blood vessel walls is important in the regulation of blood flow. The tunica media contains smooth muscle fibers which contract to either dilate or constrict the size of the vessel. These small changes in the vessel lumen can greatly influence blood pressure and blood flow. Therefore, the tunica media plays an important role in maintaining blood pressure and continuous blood circulation.

Microscopic polyarteritis 2

Polyarteritis nodosa, seen here on a lower extremity, produces painful, erythematous nodules. Arteries in the deep dermis and upper fat show neutrophilic infiltration.

Circulatory system

Blood used by the body is brought back to the heart and lungs by the veins of the body. Once the blood has gathered more oxygen from the lungs, it is pumped back out to the body through the arteries.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention