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Special Report
October 19, 1964

Perplexities of a Periodic Entity

JAMA. 1964;190(3):241. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070160065021

IN DEALING with a newly established entity before all the facts are at hand, different observers are impressed by different aspects of it, depending often upon personal interest, disregard of published views in some of the 125 pertinent publications, and thoroughness of investigation. For these reasons, much misconception and fallacy pertain to periodic peritonitis. Particularly confusing are the 15 names applied to it:

A paroxysmal syndrome

Armenian Disease

Benign paroxysmal peritonitis

Periodic abdominalgia

Periodic peritonitis

La maladie périodique

La maladie dite périodique

La maladie de Siegal-Cattan-Mamou

La maladie périodique de Reimann

Periodic fever

Epanalepsie Mediterranéene

Familian Mediterranean fever (FMF)

Recurrent polyserositis

Familial recurring polyserositis

Familial paroxysmal polyserositis (FPP) Least desirable are the eponyms and the vivid euphonious names "Epanalepsie Mediterranéene" and "Familial Mediterranean fever" that are geographically restrictive and clinically uninformative. The disorder is worldwide and is not restricted to Armenians, Jews, and Arabs. The noun polyserositis, favored by many,

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