Polyarteritis nodosa is a serious blood vessel disease. Small and medium-sized arteries become swollen and damaged when they are attacked by rogue immune cells. This disease cannot currently be prevented, but early treatment can prevent some damage and symptoms.

  1. Current treatments using steroids and other drugs that suppress the immune system (such as cyclophosphamide) can improve symptoms and the chance of long-term survival. The most serious associated conditions generally involve the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Without treatment, the outlook is poor.
  2. Being vaccinated against hepatitis B, and avoiding activities that increase the risk of hepatitis, such as sharing needles during intravenous drug use or having unprotected sex, may prevent hepatitis-related polyarteritis nodosa.