Archive for the ‘Polyarteritis nodosa’ Category
Some people respond immediately to treatment and may be declining gradually over several months. Others, however, require prolonged treatment.
There is no way to prevent most cases of polyarteritis nodosa.
Get vaccinated against hepatitis B and avoid activities that increase the risk of hepatitis, such as sharing needles for intravenous drug use or unprotected sex.
If no signs of hepatitis and its symptoms are relatively mild, the doctor will usually begin treatment with a steroid medicine such as prednisone, a potent drug that suppresses the immune system and reduces inflammation. However, if more severe signs that affect the heart, nervous system and kidneys will combine prednisone with an immunosuppressive drug such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) or azathioprine (Imuran). The complete treatment usually lasts for at least a year. Read the rest of this entry »
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In most people, polyarteritis nodosa develops gradually over weeks to months. Early symptoms include fever, weight loss, muscle weakness, feeling sick (malaise), muscle pain, headaches or abdominal pain. These disturbances are called nonspecific because many diseases cause the same symptoms. Eventually, after these symptoms specific signs of arterial damage to one or more organs. Depending on the location and severity of damage, you may see any of the following symptoms:
- high blood pressure or kidney failure, including severe headache, fluid retention, nausea and confusion.
- nausea, vomiting or severe abdominal pain
- seizures, changes in mental function, numbness, tingling or weakness and slurred speech
- muscle or joint pain
- skin rashes, hives, rash caused by bleeding from damaged capillaries (purple) or major bleeding under the skin.
- chest pain or shortness of breath
- pain in the testes or pelvis
Since polyarteritis nodosa can cause a wide variety of symptoms, people do not have the same symptoms of this disease.
Polyarteritis nodosa is an inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) rare but potentially fatal disease that damages the walls of the arteries of small and medium-sized body. This damage reduces blood supply and nutrients to the arteries, which causes the injury or destruction of surrounding tissue in many parts of the body. The disease most commonly affects the kidneys, the nerves of the arms and legs and abdominal organs, but can also affect the skin, joints, brain, heart, eyes and genitals.
In individual organs, polyarteritis nodosa can have the following effects:
- Kidneys: renal failure and high blood pressure associated with kidney failure
- Nervous system: nerve damage in the arms and legs, loss of sensation and movement caused by a specific lesion of a nerve. In the brain, the injury can trigger strokes, seizures or sudden disturbances in nerve function.
- Abdominal organs: intestinal pain, liver or pancreas, especially after eating, or even death of a portion of an organ caused by interruption of blood supply. May break suddenly artery aneurysms, which are inflammation (swelling) like a balloon that formed along an artery in the areas where the vasculitis has weakened the arterial wall. This can lead to hemorrhage (bleeding) death in the abdomen, accompanied by severe abdominal pain. Read the rest of this entry »