Polyarteritis Nodosa

Hi. I was diagnosed with vasculitis a month ago (after many years) and I've just received a letter from the skin biopsy saying it is polyarteritis nodosa. The condition only affects my skin and peripheral nerves (at the moment). I'm Anca negative and bloods generally look normal. Can anyone advise how they know it is therefore PAN? Does PAN look different from an idiopathic vasculitis when seen in a biopsy?

Also has anyone else had vasculitis limited to skin and nerves - and at what stage should I expect sensory improvements? I regularly have numbness and buzzing in hands and feet still. I've just completed my third session of cyclophosphomide and am on 25mg pred (and reducing).

Any shared experiences appreciated!

3 Replies

  • Hi Bindy, PAN is not an ANCA vasculitis. You should be aware that there are 2 types of PAN - Hepatitis B associated & Non Hep. I've never heard of PAN being diagnosed only from a skin biopsy. Where do you get your treatment.


  • Hi John. I'm at Oxford (Bennett/Luqmani/Venning). I've had numerous tests incl EMGs etc and it was the two recent (deep) skin biopsies which diagnosed the vasculitis. But it did mention PAN (the non-hep variety) specifically in the letter so I just wondered if it looked different from others?

  • Hi Bindy, Well you have got a star team on your case!. I don't think I really should comment. I think you had better quiz whoever it is that you see at your next appointment about it. Having looked it up in "the book" I think it must be that the "deep" skin biopsy included a bit of muscle tissue. The term "idiopathic" vasculitis simply means "having no known cause". That covers most types of vasculitis!

    The decision of what type of vasculitis it is comes from looking at both lab results and the patient's signs & symptoms.

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