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.
- 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.
- 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.