This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a blood vessel disease characterized by inflammation of small and medium-sized arteries (vasculitis), preventing them from bringing oxygen and food to organs. Most cases occur in the 4th or 5th decade of life, although it can occur at any age. PAN most commonly affects vessels related to the skin, joints, peripheral nerves, gastrointestinal tract, heart, eyes, and kidneys. Symptoms are caused by damage to affected organs and may include fever, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle and joint aches, rashes, numbness, and abdominal pain. The underlying cause of PAN is unknown. Treatment involves medicines to suppress inflammation and the immune system, including steroids.
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