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Commentary

Messages from the morgue to rheumatology: from Chagas disease to giant cell arteritis

Frank A Wollheim

Author Affiliations

Department of Rheumatology, University of Lund, Kioskgatan 3, SE-22185, Lund, Sweden

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:131  doi:10.1186/ar4418

Published: 23 December 2013

Abstract

Autopsy rates have fallen from over 50% to less than 10% in recent decades. The drastic decline creates uncertainty regarding causes of death and has negative effects for research, training, and patient safety, despite advances in imaging and laboratory testing. Rheumatology is as much at a loss as other specialties. Examples are given of important missed diagnoses revealed only at autopsy.