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Commentary—arteritis in Western surgical practice
  1. N J M London
  1. Leicester University, Leicester, UK
  1. Professor N J M London, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Robert Kilpatrick Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, PO Box 65, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK

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Arteritis is defined as inflammation of the arterial wall and may result in arterial occlusion, aneurysm formation, or haemorrhage. The nomenclature and classification of arteritis is complex and confused. From a surgical perspective, however, the most useful classification is based on the size of the involved artery (box 1). The commonest large artery arteritides encountered in Western surgical practice are giant cell arteritis (GCA) and radiation induced arteritis. GCA may present to the ophthalmic surgeon with visual disturbance or to the vascular surgeon with aneurysms or stenoses of the aorta or its main branches. While I would agree with Ehrenfeldet al that it is not cost effective to screen patients presenting with aortic aneurysms for GCA, it is important that …

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