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Childhood polyarteritis nodosa: diagnosis with non-invasive imaging techniques.

There is limited number of publications about the use of non-invasive imaging modalities in the diagnosis of childhood polyarteritis nodosa (cPAN). The aim of this study was to present the clinical and imaging findings of the patients with cPAN who were diagnosed with non-invasive imaging techniques. Files of patients who had been diagnosed as cPAN in our department from 2005 to 2015 were reviewed, retrospectively. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and imaging findings of the patients were evaluated. Nine patients (8M, 1F; age at disease onset: 12.5 years (7-16)) had been diagnosed as cPAN in our clinic with non-invasive imaging techniques within the last 10 years. Abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, and myalgia were the most frequent complaints. Doppler ultrasonography (US) was used in the diagnosis of seven patients and computed tomography (CT) angiography was done in four patients. Duration between admission to our center and diagnosis was median of 5 days (8 h-10 days), including four patients who were diagnosed within 24 h of admission. Approximately 80 % of our patients with cPAN had MEFV gene mutations and 90 % had elevated anti-streptolysin O levels. All of them had the involvement of the gastrointestinal tract. Hepatic and cystic arterial involvements were detected in seven and six patients, respectively. This report included the largest cPAN series that were diagnosed with non-invasive imaging modalities. We suggest that non-invasive modalities, especially Doppler US, should be considered in first line approach in the diagnosis of these patients, particularly in children.

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