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Anatomical eponyms in Cardiology from to the 60s to the XXI century

Alexandre Lins Werneck, Fernando Batigália
Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Cardiovascular 2011, 26 (1): 98-106
21881718

BACKGROUND: Eponym from the Greek [epi, "upon"] + [onuma, name], is a person, whether real or fictitious, after whom an item is named or thought to be named. Eponymous terms are used every day in Medicine, in our clinical years, and they have been part of the tradition of Medicine, culture, and history. Despite all the inconvenience, all those who are no against eponym has only one statement: "medical eponyms will continue to be used because there is a sense of history to their use. They are use in contemporary life, eponyms are here to stay".

METHODS: The following study aims at to show the presence of current anatomical eponyms on the best well-known Textbooks and Atlas of Human Anatomy, ranging from the oldest to the newest one, comprising a period from 1960 until 2011, regarding the cardiovascular system, particularly the heart. The three International Anatomical Terminologies have been critical as the basis of our study. Exclusion criteria were syndromes, diseases, signs, anomalies, surgical procedures, indexes, tests, grading, and the methods, which are used as eponyms in Cardiology, once they are not considered Anatomical Terms. It has been our intent to show that different eponyms characterize the same anatomical structure.

RESULTS: A list with the 25 most common eponyms listed by the three International Anatomical Terminologies is listed in Table1.

CONCLUSION: Should eponyms be abandoned? Of course not, once they remain a useful reflection of medical history. We could prove to our journey from 1960 to 2011, that the best well-known Atlas and Textbooks available do not use so many anatomical eponyms in Cardiology. They are only 25 (without including arteries, veins, and nerves of the cardiovascular system) and all the authors use no more than 9 or 12 of them. We just want to alert the Health and Allied Health Sciences Professional and students that we 'strongly recommend' not to use an eponym when it is made at the expense of an anatomical structure.

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