POLYARTERITIS nodosa, which was first reported in medical literature more than 100 years ago, continues to be a most interesting and perplexing problem. To date, the etiology, pathology, and treatment remain controversial. The lesions have been "histologically healed," and yet the patients have died owing to fibrosis and scarring which sacrifice the needed blood supply to vital organs.*
Polyarteritis nodosa was first described as a specific disease entity by von Rokitansky, in 1852. This German scientist reported the clinical and autopsy findings of three cases of his new disease of blood vessels.3 Virchow's "Cellular Pathology" of 1863 included a similar pathological process, which he named "endoarteritis deformans." 4 But the truly classic treatise was written by Kussmaul and Maier, in 1866, in which they reported the histological picture of the disease.5
"Kussmaul-Maier disease" is a progressive, recurrent, necrotizing, inflammatory panarteritis, affecting chiefly small and medium-sized arteries and reflected
NUZUM JW, NUZUM JW. POLYARTERITIS NODOSAStatistical Review of One Hundred Seventy-Five Cases from the Literature and Report of a "Typical" Case. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(6):942–955. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250060076007
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