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March 2017

Keeping the Name of Acute Posterior Multifocal Placoid Pigment Epitheliopathy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017;135(3):186. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.5334

Should acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy be renamed?—No.

Renaming, or at least considering renaming, is in vogue. With changing sponsorship, the stadium of the Chicago White Sox changed its name. Yale University considered renaming Calhoun College because John C. Calhoun was a proslavery proponent in the 1800s, and the university’s president has appointed the Committee to Establish Principles of Renaming. In medicine, whether change is indicated varies. Wegener granulomatosis is now called granulomatosis with polyangiitis, perhaps because Wegener was a Nazi sympathizer. Although eponyms are discouraged, the widespread use of some, such as Von Hippel-Lindau disease, has led to their retention. Sometimes new information about a disease may influence renaming. For example, acute idiopathic maculopathy is thought to frequently be related to Coxsackie virus infection; however, as of now, its name has been retained.