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November 1979

Proliferating Terminology and the NUDE Syndrome

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(11):2103. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020421001

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In the centennial issue of the Archives (96:2202-2203,1978), David Cogan, MD, discussed the limited life of eponymic designations of diseases that memorialize those whose initial observations have subsequently been redefined, categorized, or substantially modified. Descriptive terminology also came under Dr Cogan's fire, since many entities initially stated to be unique have subsequently been found to lack specificity or to relate to secondary anatomic changes rather than primary physical chemical causes. Because of subsequent discoveries such as these, periodic "spring cleaning" of obsolescent names seems in order. But care must be taken with a new or substitute name to insure that it, too, does not imply causation before the basis of the disease is fully established.

In this issue (see p 2104), Eagle et al propose that proliferation of the corneal endothelium in varying pattern, rate, and extent is the common underlying cause of three clinical entities currently designated as essential

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