The Heart in Periarteritis Nodosa
The records of 66 necropsied cases of periarteritis nodosa in which there was no associated collagen disease were reviewed with reference specifically to the heart.
Clinically, congestive heart failure and its manifestations were the most important cardiac findings. Congestive heart failure developed some time during the illness in 57 per cent of the patients, and 44 per cent died as a direct result of this cardiac condition. Myocardial infarction was diagnosed clinically in only three cases.
The electrocardiogram was abnormal in 35 of 41 cases but was diagnostic of left ventricular hypertrophy in only six cases and of acute myocardial infarction in only three cases; in the other cases the changes were of a nonspecific nature.
Pathologically, 41 of the 66 hearts had evidence of necrotizing arteritis of the coronary arteries; in 39 of these the arteritis had been acute, and in two it had healed. Forty-one of the 66 hearts exhibited myocardial infarcts. Evidence of acute pericarditis was found in 22 hearts; nine of these cases were attributed to uremia, one was due to transmural myocardial infarction, three could not be classified, and the remaining nine were attributed directly to the periarteritis nodosa. Forty-one of the 64 hearts that had been weighed were hypertrophied.
- © 1962 American Heart Association, Inc.