ALTHOUGH periarteritis nodosa is being reported with increasing frequency, it is still an uncommon disease of infancy. There have been only 23 reported cases occurring during the first year of life.1-20 All have had similar clinical findings. A premortem diagnosis of periarteritis nodosa is rare, documented only once in the cases reviewed.20 An awareness of the signs and symptoms of this disease, however, may make a presumptive diagnosis possible during life with consequent initiation of proper treatment. Periarteritis nodosa in infants predominantly involves the coronary arteries and is associated with sudden, unexpected death.
Report of a Case
The patient was an 8-month-old white boy who was first seen by a private pediatrician because of fever and a nonspecific facial rash. He was treated with penicillin. The following day the patient's temperature increased to 106 F (41.1 C) and he had loose bowels, vomiting, and hoarseness. The physician treated