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Kussmaul-Maier disease

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A narcotising vascular disease involving the small and medium sized muscular arteries. It may occur in almost any organ system and is characterized by visible and palpable nodules along their courses. Arterial bifurcations and branchings are the primary sites of lesions. In its classical form the lung vessels, with the exception of the bronchal arteries, are not affected. Long list of symptoms and signs include fever, muscle pain, tachyardia, weight loss, polyneuritis, myocardial infarction, convulsions and visual troubles. The pathogenic mechanism is unknown, but hypersensitivity is believed to be the cause. Male to female ratio 2,4: 1, onset at all ages.

As early as in 1852 Karl von Rokitansky (1804-1878) reported a systematized disturbance of the arteries in a young man observed in 1848.


  • Karl von Rokitansky:
    Ueber einige der wichtigsten Krankheiten der Arterien.
    Denkschriften der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 1852; 4: pp 1-72.
  • A. Kussmaul, R. Maier:
    Über eine bisher nicht beschriebene eigenthümliche Arterienerkrankung (Periarteritis nodosa), die mit Morbus Brightii und rapid fortschreitender, allgemeiner Muskellähmung einhergeht.
    Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1866; 1: 484-518.

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