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May 9, 1977

"CVA" and the Lexicon of Medicine

JAMA. 1977;237(19):2036. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270460022005

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To the Editor.—  I have no animus towards Dr Lester Adelson. Quite the contrary; I am delighted with his letter (236:2390, 1976), as I adore inessential matters and wish to contribute some in response.While I agree that the term "CVA" is "nonscientific," I also agree that it is "hallowed by... tradition." In other words, everyone knows roughly what it means. Dr Adelson's third point would therefore be at least partially negated by his first paragraph. It is hard to believe that any registrar of vital statistics would think of violent death on seeing the phrase "cerebrovascular accident."I disagree with his first point for more than one reason. That a cerebral embolism.where the migrating clot finds its way... into one of the carotid arteries and thence to the brain... is a matter of chance that the astute clinician can prognosticate... is a rather doubtful statement. Physicians are not