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Communications to the Editor |

Behçet Disease, Adamantiades-Behçet Disease, or Hippocrates-Adamantiades-Behçet Disease? FREE TO VIEW

Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: The George Washington University, Washington, DC,  Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany

Correspondence to: Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP, Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037



Chest. 2002;122(1):381-382. doi:10.1378/chest.122.1.381-a
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To the Editor:

Tirilomis (December 2001)1was correct in stating that the first description in contemporary times of Behçet disease was made by the Greek ophthalmologist Benedict Adamantiades in 1931, and that the disease was described for the second time, independently, by the Turkish dermatologist Hulusi Behçet in 1937. Actually, according to Kaklamani et al,2before publishing in 1931, Adamantiades in 1930 orally presented at the Medical Society of Athens3 the case of a 20-year-old man who had developed recurrent hypopyon iritis resulting in blindness, phlebitis, oral and genital ulcerations, and knee arthritis. One year later, he published this case in the journal Annales d’Oculistique, as was stated by Tirilomis.,1

Historically speaking, the first description of the symptomatology of this disease was reported by Hippocrates in 500 BC.4 Therefore, to be historically correct, the complete eponym for this disease should be Hippocrates-Adamantiades-Behçet disease. However, most authors refer to it as Behçet disease, because this is the name that is in use worldwide. A recent MEDLINE search by this author yielded 3,247 references to Behçet disease in contrast to only 31 references to Adamantiades-Behçet disease.

Tirilomis, T (2001) Some more historical notes on Adamantiades-Behçet’s disease [letter].Chest120,2116
 
Kaklamani, VG, Vaiopoulos, G, Kaklamanis, PG Behçet disease.Semin Arthritis Rheum1998;27,197-217. [CrossRef]
 
Adamantiades, B A case of recurrent hypopyon iritis1930,586-593 Medical Society of Athens. Athens, Greece:
 
Cheng, TO Some historical notes on Behçet’s disease.Chest2001;119,667-668
 
To the Editor:

I appreciate Dr. Cheng’s comments,1 and I agree with his point that, historically speaking, the first description of the symptomatology of Adamantiades-Behçet disease was reported by Hippocrates in the fifth century BC. Should the complete eponym for the disease be Hippocrates-Adamantiades-Behçet disease? The more carefully we read the Hippocratic Corpus, the more often we discover the genius of Hippocrates. Symptoms of many diseases were first reported by Hippocrates. He not only carefully observed the clinical features of diseases, but he thoughtfully interpreted their pathologic and physiologic aspects, and treated diseases by natural means. He developed medicine as a science. Therefore, to be historically correct, probably many of the eponyms of diseases should be renamed and called Hippocrates-… disease or syndrome. However, eponyms for diseases mostly have been attributed to contemporary scientists. Hippocrates has an outstanding position in medicine, but he is out of the competition for eponyms. His outstanding position is not only indicated by the importance of the Hippocratic Oath in the medical ethics of physicians all around the world, but Hippocrates is, without any contradiction, the father of medicine.

Should the disease be called only Behçet disease, because this name is in wide use? The use of an eponym for a clinical sign, medical technique, or a disease is an honor for every physician and scientist, and it is also a tribute to outstanding members of the medical community. The first description of the Silk Route disease in contemporary times was made by Benedict Adamantiades2and for the second time, independently, by Hulusi Behçet.3Even with delay, the tribute to Benedict Adamantiades should be given too. In dual commemoration of the contribution of these two excellent physicians and scientists to the syndrome, the disease is correctly called Adamantiades-Behçet disease,4 and this name should be used universally.

References
Cheng, TO Some historical notes on Behçet’s disease.Chest2001;119,667-668
 
Adamantiades, B Sur un cas d′iritis á hypopion récidivant.Ann Ocul (Paris)1931;164,271-278
 
Behçet, H Über rezidivierende, aphthöse, durch ein Virus verursachte Geschwüre am Mund, am Auge und an den Genitalien.Dermat Wschr1937;105,1152-1157
 
Tirilomis, T Some more historical notes on Adamantiades- Behçet’s disease. Chest. 2001;;120 ,.:2116
 

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Tables

References

Tirilomis, T (2001) Some more historical notes on Adamantiades-Behçet’s disease [letter].Chest120,2116
 
Kaklamani, VG, Vaiopoulos, G, Kaklamanis, PG Behçet disease.Semin Arthritis Rheum1998;27,197-217. [CrossRef]
 
Adamantiades, B A case of recurrent hypopyon iritis1930,586-593 Medical Society of Athens. Athens, Greece:
 
Cheng, TO Some historical notes on Behçet’s disease.Chest2001;119,667-668
 
Cheng, TO Some historical notes on Behçet’s disease.Chest2001;119,667-668
 
Adamantiades, B Sur un cas d′iritis á hypopion récidivant.Ann Ocul (Paris)1931;164,271-278
 
Behçet, H Über rezidivierende, aphthöse, durch ein Virus verursachte Geschwüre am Mund, am Auge und an den Genitalien.Dermat Wschr1937;105,1152-1157
 
Tirilomis, T Some more historical notes on Adamantiades- Behçet’s disease. Chest. 2001;;120 ,.:2116
 
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