What is the role of a physical exam in the diagnosis of polyarteritis nodosa (PAN)?

Updated: Nov 14, 2017
  • Author: Dana Jacobs-Kosmin, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Because polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a systemic disease, a complete examination is essential for diagnosis.

The emergence of multiple mononeuropathies in persons with PAN is an important clue to an underlying arteritis. Evidence of organ or extremity ischemia, including hypertension and renal insufficiency (renovascular disease), are further clues to the diagnosis. Lung involvement is rare and its presence should prompt a search for an alternative to PAN as the diagnosis.


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