What is the pathophysiology of necrotizing vasculitis?

Updated: Dec 10, 2018
  • Author: Nadia Jennifer Chiara Luca, MD; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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Kawasaki disease and polyarteritis nodosa are examples of necrotizing vasculitis. Possible etiologies in the case of Kawasaki disease include infectious agents and/or superantigen-mediated activation of lymphocytes. The inciting factors in polyarteritis nodosa are less well understood; however, in developing countries, it has been associated with hepatitis B or C. Pathologically, segmental transmural inflammation of muscular arteries is noted. Nodule (vascular narrowing) and aneurysm formation result from panmural fibrinoid necrosis. Note that aneurysmal dilatation of the arterial wall is a common feature of necrotizing vasculitis. Typically, immunofluorescence for immunoglobulin or complement deposition is negative. [11]

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