April 7, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(1):57-58. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050140059014

The importance of finding an appropriate descriptive name for a disease or syndrome is not always appreciated, nor is the finding always easy. This explains why observers so often give up and revert to eponyms. A case in point is the disease sometimes referred to as familial cardiomyopathy. Pare et al.1 call attention to the fact that on postmortem examination a few patients have been found to show hypertrophy and fibrosis of the myocardium without significant valvular, hypertensive, coronary, or other disease. Since a hereditary factor had been suspected, the authors examined 77 members of a family in which 2 brothers had cardiomegaly. Of these, 20 had evidence of cardiac disease, and 10 other members of the family who had died were believed to have had heart disease, although no autopsies had been performed. In the genealogical tree, the first person to have this disease was the offspring of

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