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Painful rash and swelling of the limbs after recurrent infections in a teenager: Polyarteritis nodosa


Anne Klusmann, Department of General Paediatrics, University Children's Hospital, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. Tel: +49 211 8117687. Fax: +49 211 8117692. E-mail:


Polyarteritis nodosa is a rare disease in childhood and adolescence that is difficult to diagnose clinically. We report on a 17-y-old girl presenting with a history of recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract and conjunctivitis followed by a painful rash on the upper and lower extremities resembling erythema nodosum. The diagnosis of polyarteritis nodosa was proven by skin biopsy. Therapy with intravenous immunoglobulins failed, but with systemic steroids she responded promptly.

Conclusion: Polyarteritis nodosa is a differential diagnosis in adolescents presenting with fever and an erythema nodosum-like rash.

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