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September 1965

The Diagnostic Value of Angiographic Observations in Polyarteritis Nodosa: A Case of Multiple Aneurysms in the Visceral Organs

Author Affiliations


From the departments of radiology and medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Assistant Professor of Radiology (Dr. Bron); Resident in Medicine (Dr. Strott); and Associate Professor of Medicine (Dr. Shapiro).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(3):450-454. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870030130024

The protean clinical manifestations of polyarteritis nodosa reflect the underlying multiple organ involvement and frequently present a diagnostic challenge. The pathological lesion of the classic type occurs in the medium and smaller sized muscular arteries and represents a necrotizing inflammatory change.1,2 Lacking knowledge of a specific etiologic agent, the diagnosis rests largely on clinical awareness and suspicion and ultimately on a biopsy specimen of the characteristic vascular lesion.

Multiple aneurysm formation in the small and medium sized arteries is a feature of the pathological spectrum and when demonstrated is characteristic of the disease.3 The lesion is encountered in the vessels of the abdominal viscera, namely, kidney, liver, and spleen. Angiography affords a simple and safe method of demonstrating these lesions in vivo, and thus may help confirm the suspected clinical diagnosis.

In view of the vascular nature of this disease it is surprising more attention has not been