Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN)

  • 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.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have been diagnosed with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN). How does PAN differ from lupus?

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD

Polyarteritis nodosa is a type of inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) that affects medium- and large-sized arteries. Depending on which blood vessels are involved and specifically the tissues they supply, injury can occur to internal organs, such as the kidneys or bowel.

Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) facts

  • Polyarteritis nodosa is an autoimmune disease that affects arteries.
  • Common areas affected include the muscles, joints, intestines (bowels), nerves, kidneys, and skin.
  • Diagnosis of polyarteritis nodosa is confirmed by a biopsy of involved tissue or angiography.
  • Treatment is directed toward decreasing the inflammation of the arteries.

What is polyarteritis nodosa (PAN)?

Polyarteritis nodosa is a rare autoimmune disease featuring spontaneous inflammation of the arteries (arteritis, a form of blood vessel inflammation or "vasculitis"). Autoimmune diseases are characterized by an overactive, misdirected immune system that attacks one's own body. Because arteries are involved, the disease can affect any organ of the body. The most common areas of involvement include the muscles, joints, intestines (bowels), nerves, kidneys, and skin. Poor function or pain in any of these organs can be a symptom. Poor blood supply to the bowels can cause abdominal pain, local bowel death, and bleeding. Fatigue, weight loss, and fever are common. Polyarteritis nodosa is often abbreviated PAN.

What are causes and risk factors for polyarteritis nodosa?

Polyarteritis nodosa is most common in middle-age people. Its cause is unknown, but it has been reported after hepatitis B infection. Polyarteritis is not felt to be an inherited condition.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa - Patient Experience

    Tell us about your experience with polyarteritis nodosa?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors