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January 10, 1885

Atheroma of the Coronary Arteries.

JAMA. 1885;IV(2):47-48. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390770019003

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—The term atheroma as applied to chronic deforming endarteritis is objectionable, since it does not fully express the condition. Virchow thinks it should be limited to a fatty degeneration of the middle coat. English writers largely employ the term to cover the whole process, whether the change be fatty or calcarious. It is likewise so firmly implanted in the vocabulary of American medicine, that to attempt to uproot it seems hopeless; hence we conform to usage, while at the same protesting against the term. Although having been observed, as a matter of great rarity, in youth and even in young children, atheroma is essentially a senile change. German pathologists express themselves rather guardedly as to its etiology, aside from age and strain, while English writers, notably Bramwell, in his recent admirable work on diseases of the heart and aorta, look upon syphilis, gout, rheumatism, chronic alcoholism and strain as important

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