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Polyarteritis Nodosa

Polyarteritis nodosa is a disease that causes small and medium-sized arteries to become swollen and inflamed. As a result of the damage to the arteries, other tissues of the body that are supplied through these arteries are also damaged, causing additional problems.

The symptoms of Polyarteritis nodosa are similar to other heart-related diseases. They include:

• fever
• weight loss
• fatigue
• loss of appetite
• muscle and joint aches
• weakness

In addition, symptoms may occur in the organ systems that are affected by the disease:

• Kidneys: renal failure
• Skin: rashes, swelling, lumps, and ulceration
• Heart: heart attack, heart failure, pericarditis
• Nervous system: numbness, pain, burning, weakness, sensory changes, strokes, seizure

Although the cause of polyarteritis nodosa is unknown, a diagnosis is typically made by taking a tissue sample from an affected area of the skin or organ.

Treatment options vary for polyarteritis nodosa. However, this disease is generally treated with medications, especially corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide—a drug used to treat cancer and rheumatoid disorders.

See your doctor if you are concerned that you may have developed polyarteritis nodosa. Because of the similar symptoms to other disorders, only your doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

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