Which areas of the body are commonly affected by polyarteritis nodosa (PAN)?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Dana Jacobs-Kosmin, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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PAN, like other vasculitides, affects multiple systems and has protean manifestations, although it most commonly affects skin (see the image below), joints, peripheral nerves, the gut, and the kidney. [4] The lungs are usually spared with PAN. A typical PAN patient might present with fever, night sweats, weight loss, skin ulcerations or tender nodules, and severe muscle and joint pains developing over weeks or months. (See Etiology, Presentation, and Workup.)

Nonspecific, firm, tender subcutaneous nodules wit Nonspecific, firm, tender subcutaneous nodules without livedo reticularis and/or systemic involvement may be the first sign of polyarteritis nodosa (PAN).

See Cutaneous Clues to Accurately Diagnosing Rheumatologic Disease, a Critical Images slideshow, to help recognize cutaneous manifestations of rheumatologic diseases. Also see the slideshow Vasculitis: Case Presentations for more information on clinical, histologic, and radiographic imaging findings in various forms of vasculitis. For information on pediatric PAN, see Childhood Polyarteritis Nodosa.

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