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Ann Rheum Dis 70:704 doi:10.1136/ard.2011.150714
  • Letters

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's): An alternative name for Wegener's granulomatosis

  1. Richard Watts13
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, University at Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Université Paris Descartes, and Hôpital Cochin, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France
  4. 4Department of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Diseases, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA
  5. 5Department of Nephrology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  6. 6Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  7. 7Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  8. 8Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  9. 9Department of Internal Medicine Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, and Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France
  10. 10Departments of Medicine and Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  11. 11Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
  12. 12Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
  13. 13Department of Rheumatology, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Ipswich, UK; and Norwich Medical School, Norwich, UK
  1. Correspondence to Peter A Merkel, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA; pmerkel{at}bu.edu
  • Accepted 31 January 2011

The Boards of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) have recommended a gradual shift from honorific eponyms to disease-descriptive or aetiology-based nomenclature.

The leadership of these three organizations tasked an international group of senior academicians expert in the care of patients with vasculitis and engaged in research in the field to provide the medical community with proper descriptive terms instead of the names for Wegener's granulomatosis, Churg–Strauss syndrome, and Behçet's syndrome. The move towards a vasculitis terminology based on pathology, rather than historical reference, was triggered by evidence that Dr Friedrich Wegener was a member of the Nazi party before and …