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J Korean Med Sci. 2006 Aug;21(4):591-5.

Clinical features of polyarteritis nodosa in Korea.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a systemic vasculitis characterized by multi-organ involvement with protean manifestations. We evaluated the clinical features of PAN in Korea. Twenty-seven patients were diagnosed as PAN at Seoul National University Hospital between January 1990 and July 2003. The male-to-female ratio was 1.7:1 and mean age at onset (+/-SD) was 47.4+/-20 yr. Their presenting features at diagnosis were similar to those reported previously, i.e., myalgia, muscle weakness or leg tenderness (70%), fever (52%), weight loss >4 kg (44%), skin rash (44%), peripheral edema (33%), abdominal pain (33%), and arthralgia/arthritis (30%). However, the prevalence of testicular pain or tenderness was higher (24%) than reported previously and only three (11.5%) had HBsAg positivity without liver enzyme elevation. Nine patients (33%) had a five-factor score (FFS) of 2. Fourteen patients (52%) responded to treatment, 2 patients relapsed and 4 died within 1 yr of diagnosis. During a median follow-up of 55.5 months, three of the four PAN-related deaths had an initial FFS of 2. The clinical features of PAN were not significantly different from those reported previously. However, testicular pain or tenderness was more frequent and patients with a high FFS tended to have a poorer prognosis.

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