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We read with great interest the paper published by Tomelleri et al1 on ‘Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on patients with large-vessel vasculitis in Italy: a monocentric survey’. The authors aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and national lockdown among patients with large-vessel vasculitis (LVV) in a single centre by April 2020. First, we would like to congratulate them for the novelty of their work during the first wave of the pandemic in Italy. The implementation of ultrasound (US) fast-track pathways (FTPs) in rheumatology, aiming at an early diagnosis of giant cell arteritis (GCA), has led to a decrease in permanent vision loss.2 However, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has had a negative impact on patients with GCA, leading to difficulties in monitoring, reduced access to temporal artery biopsy3 and a decline in referral rates of patients accompanied by cases with delayed presentation and vision loss.4 Additionally, recent data suggest that COVID-19 seems to be more severe in patients with LVV with higher rates of hospitalisation and lethality,5 although these results should be further confirmed. The aim of our analysis was to assess the …
Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception and design of this study. Subject recruitment and ultrasound examination were performed by JMC. JMC and FM collected the epidemiological and clinical data and performed the statistical analysis and study design. FM, IC, JM-B, JCN-G, JR, JMA-G and JMC drafted the manuscript. All coauthors revised the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.