Periarteritis nodosa (PN) is characterized by damage to small arteries, their inflammation and further necrosis. The disease belongs to the so-called systemic, that is, it affects the entire arterial system of the body. As a result, pathological disorders occur in all organs and tissues. UP is most common in middle-aged men. The occurrence of the disease in members of the same family is described, but a clear hereditary transmission has not been noted.
The onset of the disease is not often preceded by intense sunburn, childbirth, vaccination against a disease, or the use of medicinal products. The disease often begins gradually, less often – acutely (as a result of taking medicinal products).
There are pains in the muscles and joints, a slight rise in temperature; weight loss develops, up to progressive exhaustion, which indicates a high activity of the disease. Muscle pain is especially characteristic of the calf muscles. Pain in the joints is especially often found at the onset of the disease and in most cases it is migratory in nature – it is found in one or the other joint, but the ankle, knee, elbow, as well as small joints of the hands and feet are most often involved in the process. Periarteritis nodosa is also characterized by skin lesions, which may be the first symptom of the disease: the presence of nodules on the skin, which are areas of inflammation of small arterioles of the skin. In addition, skin infarctions are possible – areas of severe circulatory disorders with the development of pallor and roughness; the vascular network of the skin is expressed. Damage to the internal organs depends on the degree of pathological changes in the arterioles in them. Organ disorders are manifested by a decrease or loss of functions. For example, with damage to the heart, there are all kinds of rhythm disturbances, angina pectoris with characteristic pain behind the sternum; the appearance of small-focal myocardial infarctions is likely, which leads to a weakening of heart contractions and the development of heart failure.
Treatment of nodular periarteritis is reduced to the appointment of a powerful anti-inflammatory therapy; as a rule, use hormonal products based on corticosteroids.