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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 364--369

Imprecise eponyms in stroke medicine – A growing need for uniform terminologies/definitions across the globe

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Stroke Neurology, Neurointerventions, BRAINS – Brain Spine Centre, Infantry Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kamble J Harsha
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Stroke Neurology, Neurointerventions, BRAINS – Brain Spine Centre, #146, Infantry Road, Bengaluru - 570 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.258048

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Background: Remarkable advancements in the understanding of etiological risk factors and pathophysiology of cerebrovascular diseases have led to the refining of definitions and terminologies in stroke medicine periodically. We aim to analyze the utility and meaning of different eponyms in the stroke medicine literature during the last 20 years. Materials and Methods: A systematic search was performed in Google Scholar for the words “stroke,” “TIA,” “cerebrovascular accident (CVA),” “cerebrovascular insult,” “cerebrovascular event,” “cerebral ischemia,” and “cerebrovascular disease.” Each of the words were searched yearwise from 1996 to 2015, and the numbers of articles using these words were collected and analyzed. Results: “ Stroke” has been the most common terminology used in literature, which showed a progressive increase in its usage until 2010, after which its use drastically reduced. “Cerebrovascular events” and “cerebral ischemia” are the second most commonly used terminologies with variable definitions; there was a steep increase in the use of these words until 2012. Conclusions: The most imprecise term that continues to be used is “CVA”. The precisely defined entity like “cerebrovascular disease,” which is a group of diseases, continues to be used inappropriately. All the terms are not defined uniformly across the globe, whereas most continue to use the World Health Organisation definition of stroke, defined in the 1970s. It is essential to condemn the use of imprecise terminologies and promote the use of recently defined precise terms “stroke” and “transient ischemic attack (TIA)”. Unless the same terms with precise definitions are used in clinical practice or literature, the progress of stroke medicine will continue to be hampered.


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