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January 20, 1989

The Vascular War of 1988: The Enemy Is Met

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, The University of Chicago.

From the Department of Surgery, The University of Chicago.

JAMA. 1989;261(3):416-417. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420030090037

NUMEROUS skirmishes, battles, and wars relating to territorial rights of various specialties involved in treating patients with vascular disease have been waged over the years. These have involved issues of patient welfare, access, availability and cost of resources, economic interests of physicians and hospitals, and quality control. The current "vascular war of 1988" began smoldering among vascular surgeons and radiologists with the widespread introduction of transluminal balloon angioplasty for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease in the 1970s. It has burst into flames in some parts of the nation with the development and introduction of new, high-tech transluminal devices for the treatment of occlusive vascular lesions and now involves not only vascular surgeons and radiologists but also cardiologists. Although most of the new devices are not fully developed, tested, or proven, explosive media exposure of preliminary tests and the Star Wars magic of the word "laser" have led to high