Clinical Eponyms
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This list is available for the Palm Pilot at Andrew Yee's website.

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Adamkiewicz, artery of
Artery responsible for anterior spinal syndrome; could be bagged in AAA repair
Adie’s pupil
Tonic pupil, larger than contralateral unaffected pupil, reacts sluggishly to changes in illumination, q.v. Holmes-Adie syndrome; seen in young women; no neurologic significance
Alagille syndrome
Inherited cholestatic syndrome, associated with biliary hypoplasia (ductopenia), vertebral anomalies, prominent forehead, deep-set eyes, peripheral pulmonic stenosis
Albers-Schönberg disease
Osteopetrosis or marble bone disease
Albright’s hereditary osteodystrophy
Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, short stature, round face, skeletal anomalies (brachydactyly), and heterotopic calcification, precocious puberty, café-au-lait spots on skin, low calcium, high phosphate, resistance to elevated PTH levels from mutation in Gs alpha coupling PTH receptor to adenylyl cyclase; also see Archibald’s sign
Alder-Reilly anomaly
Large, dark, pink-purple granules in cytoplasm of neutrophils; AR trait resulting in abnormal granule development in neutrophils resembling severe toxic granulation
Alexander’s disease
Leukodystrophy-like neurodegenerative disease presenting in infancy or childhood; characterized by Rosenthal fibers
Alexander’s law
Peripheral vestibular nystagmus increases in intensity when the gaze is in the direction of the fast phase, and decreases in intensity when the gaze is away from the fast phase
Alport’s syndrome
Hereditary nephritis accompanied by nerve deafness and various eye disorders, including lens dislocation, posterior cataracts, and corneal dystrophy
Alström’s syndrome
Obesity, autosomal recessive, childhood blindness due to retinal degeneration, nerve deafness, vasopressin-resistant diabetes insipidus, and in males hypogonadism with high plasma gonadotropin levels (end organ resistance to hormones), also baldness, hyperuricemia, hypertriglyceridemia, aminoaciduria
Alzheimer’s disease
Most frequent cause of dementia, pathologically characterized by neurofibrillary tangles, neuritic plaques, and granulovacuolar degeneration, degeneration of nucleus basalis of Meynert (principal origin of cholinergic innervation); described in 1906
Anitschkow myocytes
In rheumatic fever, large mesenchymal cells in myocardial lesion
Anton’s syndrome
Denial of cortical blindness; a form of anosognosia
aortic regurgitation eponyms
Becker’s sign, Corrigan’s pulse, de Musset’s sign, Durozeiz’s sign, Gerhard’s sign, Hill’s sign, Landolfi’s sign, Mayne’s sign, Müller’s sign, Quincke’s sign, Rosenbach’s sign, Traube’s sign, Watson’s water hammer pulse
Apert syndrome
Autosomal dominant disorder from mutation in FGFR2 characterized by craniosynostosis, mid-facial malformations, symmetric bony syndactyly of hands and feet, and varying degrees of mental retardation, from missense mutations in the fibroblast growth-factor-receptor 2 (FGFR2) genes
Archibald’s sign
In pseudohypoparathyroidism of Albert’s hereditary osteodystrophy, characteristic shortening of the fourth and fifth digits as dimpling over the knuckles of a clenched fist
Argyll Robertson pupils
Small irregular pupils; accommodate, but don’t react; absence of miotic reaction to light, both direct and consensual, with preservation of a miotic reaction to near stimulus); usually but not always caused by *CNS syphillis*
Arnold-Chiari malformation
Downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils and medulla through the foramen magnum, results in pressure atrophy of displaced brain tissue, hydrocephalus from obstruction of the CSF outflow tract, is almost always characterized by the presence of a thoracolumbar meningomyelocele
Arthus reaction
Localized area of tissue necrosis resulting from acute immune complex vasculitis; type III hypersensitivity
Aschoff body
Pathognomonic finding in rheumatic carditis, an area of local fibrinoid necrosis surrounded by inflammatory cells including lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages that later resolve to fibrous scar tissue
Asherman’s syndrome
Intrauterine synechiae, typically occurs after curettage of the uterus, presenting as amenorrhea
Asperger’s disorder
Severe and sustained impairment in social interactions and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, but intellectually normal and no language delays, but with abnormalities of spoken language
atrial conduction system
Anterior internodal tract, Bachmann’s bundle middle i.t., Wenckebach’s bundle posterior i.t., Thorel’s pathway
Auenbrugger’s sign
Epigastric bulge due to a massive pericardial effusion
Auer rods
Present in acute myelogenous leukemia or refractory anemia with excess blasts; granules form elongated needles, granules are all azurophilic, contain peroxidase; fused lysosomes
Auerbach’s plexus
Myenteric plexus, between the longitudinal and circular layers of muscle; provides motor innervation to the two muscle layers and secretomotor innervation to the mucosa
Auspitz’s sign
For psoriasis; sign is positive when slight scratching or curetting of a scaly lesion reveals punctate bleeding points within the lesion; suggests psoriasis, but is not specific
Austin Flint murmur
Diastoic rumble in aortic insufficiency heard in cardiac apex, thought to be due to aortic jet impinging on the mitral valve, causing it to vibrate and also from simultaneous diastolic filling of the left ventricle from the left atrium and aorta tends to close the mitral valve in diastole, producing physiologic stenosis
Australia antigen
HBsAg, found in the serum of an Australian aborigine

 

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Babinski sign
Upper motor sign that indicates dysfunction of fibers within the pyramidal system; described in 1896 by Babinski, student of Charcot
Balint’s syndrome
Optic ataxia (inability to visually guide limb movements), ocular ataxia (inability to direct eyes to a precise point in the visual field), inability to enumerate objects in a picture or extract meaning from a picture, and inability to avoid objects in one’s path, simultanagnosia, from infarction in unilateral or bilateral visual association due to watershed stroke between distal PCA and MCA
Ball’s disease
Intracerebral leukocytostasis, potentially fatal complication of acute leukemia (especially AML) when peripheral blast cell cound >100,000/uL; leukemic cells capable of invading through endothelium and casuing hemorrhage into brain; not seen generally with CLL or CML
Ballance’s sign
Tender mass in the LUQ due to a spleen hematoma
bamboo spine
Seen in ankylosing spondylitis
Banti’s syndrome
Splenomegaly, hypersplenism, and portal hypertension, noncirrhotic, arises after subclinical occlusion of the portal vein, usually years after occlusive event
Bantu siderosis
Unusual form of iron overloading resembling hereditary hemochromatosis in South African blacks ingesting large quantities of alcoholic beverages fermented in iron utensils
Barlow’s maneuver
For congenital hip dislocation, patient placed in supine position and attempt made to push femurs posteriorly with knees at 90 degrees/hip flexed and hip will dislocate
Barrett’s esophagus
Esophageal strictures and epithelial metaplasia from squamous epithelium to a specialized columnar epithelium with intestinal metaplasia in 10% of severe GERD
Bart’s, hemoglobin
Four gamma-globin chains, seen in hydrops fetalis (alpha thalassemia), very high oxygen affinity
Barth syndrome
Infantile X-linked cardioskeletal myopathy
Bartter’s syndrome
Primary elevation in renin due to idiopathic hyperfunction of the juxtaglomerular apparatus but with normal blood pressure
Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome
Congential abetalipoproteinemia
Batson's plexus
Portal vertebral venous communications, may be responsible for isolated bone mets in sacrum or vertebral bodies from colorectal cancer
Battle’s sign
Ecchymoses over the mastoid process in basilar skull fractures
BCG
Bacille bilié de Calmette-Guérin; Leon A. Calmette, French bacteriologist, 1863-1933; Camille Guérin, French bacteriologist, 1872-1961; attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin
Beau’s lines
Horizontal depressions across nail plate, caused by a transient arrest in nail growth, can occur during acute stress (e.g., high fever, circulatory shock, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism); will manifest as Beau’s lines as nail grows out
Bechterew’s disease
Ankylosing spondylitis
Beck’s triad
In pericardial tamponade, distended neck veins, distant heart sounds, hypotension, i.e. rising venous pressure, falling arterial pressure, and decreased heart sounds
Becker’s muscular dystrophy
X-linked, normal levels of dystrophin but function altered, average onset 11 y.o., age at death 42 y.o., CK elevated
Becker’s sign
In aortic regurgitation, visible pulsations of the retinal arterioles
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
Exomphalos, macroglossia, gigantism
Behcet’s diease
Aphthous ulcers, genital ulcerations, ocular inflammation (posterior uveitis), erythema nodosum, cutaneous pustular vasculitis, also synoviits, neurologic issues, and thrombophlebitis
Bell’s palsy
Seventh nerve palsy; seen as a complication in diabetes, tumors, sarcoidosis, AIDS, and Lyme disease
Bell’s phenomenon
When an attempt is made to close the eyelid, the eyeball on the affected side may turn upward
Bence Jones proteins
Free L chains of immunoglobulin seen ins plasma cell dyscrasias (e.g. multiple myelomas), filtered by glomerulus and then reabsorbed tubular cells; proteins are toxic to tubule cells
Benedikt syndrome
Clinical picture from paramedian midbrain infarction from occlusion of the paramedian penetrating branches of the basilar artery affecting the third nerve root fiber, red nucleus, cerebral peduncle resulting in ipsilateral medial rectus palsy with a fixed dilated pupil and contralateral tremor, chorea, and athetosis
Bennett’s fracture
Fracture of the base of the first metacarpal with involvement of carpometacarpal joint
Bergman minimal model
Determinants of glucose disposal: phi-1 (acute insulin secretion), phi-2 (sustained insulin secretion), Si (insulin sensitivity), Sg (glucose sensitivity)
Bergman’s triad
Seen with fat emboli syndrome: 1) mental status changes 2) petechiae (often in the axilla/thorax) 3) dyspnea
Bergmann gliosis
In ethanol abuse, proliferation of astrocytes adjacent to lost Purkinje cells between depleted granular cell and molecular layer of cerebellum
Bernard-Soulier disease
Absence of Gp Ib/IX, the von Willebrand receptor
Bernheim effect
In aortic stenosis, right ventricular failure preceding left ventricular failure from hypertrophied ventricular septum bulging into and encroaching on right ventricular filling
Bernheim effect, reverse
In pulmonary embolism, right ventricular failure causing septum to bulge into and compromise left ventricular filling
Bernstein test
To test for GERD, acid perfusion test of esophagus with 0.1 N HCl and see if reproduces chest pain; limited sensitivity and specificity though
Berry’s sign
In malignant thyromegaly, absence of carotid pulsation since the tumor tends to encase the carotid and muffles the pulsation
Bertin, renal columns of
The spaces between adjacent pyramids where cortical tissue extends into
Betz cells
Large pyramidal cells in layer 5 of primary motor cortex largest neurons in mammalian CNS; 30-40,000 Betz cells in precentral gyrus in one side of the brain
Bezold-Jarisch reflex
Activation of receptors in the atria, great veins, and left ventricle causing increased parasympathetic tone and decreased sympathetic activity leading to a combination of hypotension and bradycardia with a sudden increase in coronary flow
Bickerstaff’s encephalitis
Brain stem encephalitis
Bielschowsky’s tilt test
In trochlear nerve palsy (which paralyzes the superior oblique muscle), elevation in the affected eye is greatest when the head is tilted toward the side of the involved eye and abolished by tilt in the opposite direction
Bier block
Regional anesthesia of an extremity by placing a tourniquet and then infusing local anesthetic into a vein
Billroth I
Antrectomy with gastroduodenostomy
Billroth II
Antrectomy with gastrojejunostomy
Billroth’s cords
The splenic cords found in the red pulp between the sinusoids
Bing-Horton syndrome
Erythroprosopalgia, attacks of facial pain associated with marked reddening of the ipsilateral half of the face associated with tearing and watery discharge from the nose, occurs during sleep and is of brief duration, believed to be due to irritaiton in greater petrosal nerve
Binswanger’s disease
Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy, associated with hypertension; characterized by multiple lacunar infarcts and progressive demyelination limited to the subcortical area with characteristic sparing of cortex
Biot’s breathing
Succession of hyperpnea/hyperventilations and apneas (seen in increased ICP, drug-induced respiratory depression, brain damage, usually medullary level), but lacks typical crescendo-decrescendo pattern, abrupt beginning, and regularity of Cheyne-Stokes breathing (c.f. Cheyne-Stokes, cerebral level)
Birbeck’s granules
Aka Langerhans’s granules; a small tennis racket-shaped membrane-bound granule with characteristic cross-striated internal ultrastructure; first reported in Langerhans’s cells of the epidermis
Bitot’s spots
In vitamin A deficiency, small, circumscribed, lusterless, grayish white, foamy, greasy, triangular deposits on the bulbar conjunctiva adjacent to the cornea in the area of the palpebral fissure of both eyes
Blomstrand dysplasia
Rare lethal disorder characterized by an increase in bone density and advanced skeletal maturationfrom inactivating mutation in PTHR-1 gene (c.f. Jansen metaphyseal chondrodysplasia where there is an activating mutatino)
Bloom’s syndrome
Severe immunodeficiency, growth retardation, and predisposition to several types of cancers associated with hypersensitivity to a variety of DNA-damaging agents
Blount’s disease
Idiopathic varus bowing of tibia
Blumberg sign
Rebound tenderness
Blumer shelf
Carcinomatous metastasis from a primary site high up in the peritoneal cavity, may accumulate in the stomach, felt through the anterior rectal wall as a hard shelf in the rectovesical or rectouterine pouch (pouch of Douglas)
Boas’s sign
Right subscapular pain due to cholelithiasis, <7% sensitive
bobble-head syndrome
In children with progressive hydrocephalus, rapid, rhythmic bobbing of the head
Bochdalek's hernia
Hernia through the posterior diaphragm, usually on the left, presents in infancy
Boerhaave’s syndrome
Pressure rupture of the esophagus; can give rise to Hamman’s sign
Bohr effect
Fall in pH leading to decrease in oxygen affinity of hemoglobin
Bohr equation
Vd/Vt, for determining ratio of physiologic dead space
Bonnet’s sign
Banking of veins distal to AV crossings (grade 3) in hypertensive retinopathy; c.f. with Salus’s sign and Gunn’s sign
Bordet-Gengou medium
For identifying Bordetella pertussis, medium contains high percentage of blood (20-30%) to inactivate inhibitors in blood; also has potato and glycerol
Bornholm disease
Coxsackie group B virus producing pleurodynia, fever
Boston sign
In thyrotoxicosis, jerking of the lagging lid
Bouchard’s nodes
Bony spurs at PIP in OA
Bowditch staircase
Increased heart rate increases the strength of contraction in a stepwise fashion as the intracellular calcium increases over several beats
Bowen’s disease
Carcinoma in situ of penis or scrotum, usually presents as a single erythematous plaque, most often on the shaft of the penis or on the scrotum, peak incidence after 50s; or more generally, squamous carcinoma in situ
Boxer’s fracture
Fracture of the metacarpal neck, classically of small finger
Bradbury-Eggleston syndrome
Pure autonomic dysfunction characterized by low circulating catecholamines
Brill-Zinser disease
Recurrent form of epidemic typhus (Rickettsiae prowazekii); persistently infected as a source
Briquet’s syndrome
Somatization disorder
Broca’s area
Left frontal speech area, important for articulating speech; in Broca’s aphasia, because Broca’s area near motor cortex and underlying internal capsule, a right hemiparesis and homonymous hemianopsia is almost always present in this type of aphasia
Brodie’s abscess
Small, intraosseus abscess that frequently involves the cortex and is walled off by reactive bone
Brown’s syndrome
In rheumatoid arthritis, vertical diplopia, clicking sensation when looking up and medially, and an apparent inferior oblique palsy, apparently from stenosing tenosynovitis of the superior oblique tendon and sheath
Brown-Séquard syndrome
Loss of tactile sense, vibration sense, and limb position sense on the ipsilateral side and loss of pain and temperature sense on the contralateral side
Brudzinski sign
Flex the neck, watch the hips and knees in reaction to maneuver positive sign, flexion of hips and knees, suggests meningeal inflammation
Brueghel syndrome
Dystonia of the motor trigeminal nerve producing a widely opened mouth, named after painting by Flemish painter Brueghel (Neurol 1996;46:1768)
Brugada syndrome
Defect in an ion channel gene resulting in abnormal electrophysiologic activity in the right ventricle and characterized by (1) ST segment elevation in V1-V3, (2) right bundle branch block, (3) sudden cardiac death, (4) grossly normal heart
Brunner’s glands
In duodenum, submucosal mucous glands that secrete bicarbonate, glycoproteins, and pepsinogen II, virtually indistinguishable from pyloric mucous glands
Brushfield’s spots
In Down’s syndrome, small white spots on the periphery of the iris
Bruton’s tyrosine kinase
Mutation causes X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA also associated with defect in intact membrane-bound M chain (it’s essential for B-cell development) Btk found only in B cells
Budd-Chiari syndrome
Occlusion of the hepatic vein, associated with polycythemia vera, pregnancy, postpartum state, oral contraceptives, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and intra-abdominal cancers, particularly hepatocellular carcinoma
Burkitt lymphoma
Tumor manifesting at extranodal sites; associated with translocation of c-myc gene on chr 8 with IgH locus (chr 14), kappa (chr 2), or lambda light-chain (chr 22) locus; associated with EBV infection in African variety
Burnett’s syndrome
Far-advanced milk-alkali syndrome, due to long-standing calcium and alkali ingestion; severe hypercalcemia, irreversible renal failure, and phosphate retention, may be accompanied by ectopic calcification
Buschke-Löwenstein tumor
Verrucous carcinoma involving penile glans and prepuce, associated with HPV

 

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From Andrew Yee, Harvard Med '00