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July 3, 1967

Polyarteritis Nodosa Complicated by Bilateral Optic Neuropathy

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine and ophthalmology, Rex Hospital, Raleigh, NC.

JAMA. 1967;201(1):61-62. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130010087023

EVEN THOUGH considerable material has been published about the syndrome of polyarteritis nodosa since its original description in 1886 by Kussmaul and Maier,1 very little has been added to significantly modify their account. The continuing confusion as to the etiology and accurate classification of polyarteritis nodosa has resulted in varying reports as to its frequency. According to postmortem surveys the incidence varies from one to eight cases per 1,000 random unselected autopsies.2

The manifestations of this entity are extremely variable since it results from segmental inflammation primarily of the small- and medium-sized blood vessels. A single body system or a combination of systems may be affected in varying degrees with divergent symptoms. Among these, ocular complaints are unusual.

This communication describes a case of polyarteritis nodosa with the significant symptom being sudden loss of vision in the left eye.

Report of a Case  A 74-year-old white man was