Table of Contents
Volume 2010, Article ID 687547, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Cutaneous Polyarteritis Nodosa in Childhood: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Division of Rheumatology, British Columbia Children's Hospital, K4-123 ACB, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4

Received 11 August 2010; Revised 4 October 2010; Accepted 28 October 2010

Academic Editor: Lucy R. Wedderburn

Copyright © 2010 Nina-Karen Bansal and Kristin Michelle Houghton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polyarteritis nodosa is a rare vasculitis of childhood. Cutaneous PAN (cPAN) is limited to the skin, muscles, joints, and peripheral nerves. We describe a 7.5-year-old girl with cPAN presenting initially as massive cervical edema who later went on to develop subcutaneous nodules, livedo reticularis, myositis, arthritis, and mononeuritis multiplex. The use of corticosteroids resulted in initial clinical improvement, but symptom recurrence necessitated disease modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic therapy. We review a further 119 reports of biopsy proven cPAN in the literature. A majority of patients (96.6%) had cutaneous involvement; musculoskeletal involvement was common and included both articular (58.0%) and muscular (42.9%) symptoms, and nervous system involvement was least common (18.5%). Corticosteroids were used in the majority of patients (85.7%), followed by use of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (33.0%), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (10.7%), and intravenous immunoglobulin (9.8%). Therapy of cPAN with biologics has only been reported in 2 patients, and we report the first patient treated with Rituximab. A diagnosis of cPAN should be considered in a child with fever, vasculitic rash, and musculoskeletal symptoms. Most children respond to corticosteroids and have a benign course, but some require disease modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic therapies.