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Our Dermatol Online.  2013; 4(2): 247-250
DOI:.  10.7241/ourd.20132.61
Date of submission:  25.03.2013 / acceptance: 02.04.2012
Conflicts of interest: None


Khalid Al Aboud1, Ahmad Al Aboud2

1Department of Public Health, King Faisal Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Dermatology Department, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author:  Dr. Khalid Al Aboud    e-mail: amoa65@hotmail.com


Diseases which involve the oral cavity usually derive their names from either Greek or Latin. These terms are customarily based on etiology or description of the lesion [1]. However, there are many eponyms as well. Some of these names are misnomers. The misnomers encountered in oral pathology may arise from lack of understanding of underlying etiology, pathogenesis, histopathology, and/or concepts. Some misnomers are due to imprecise translations from word origins, etymological bungles, and/or factual errors [1]. In this manuscript, we are reviewing only, some selected examples of eponyms linked to the oral disorders (Tabl. I) [2-13].
Eponyms in the dermatology literature linked to oral disorders
Behcet disease [2]
It is characterized by relapsing oral aphthae, genital ulcers and iritis. This disease is named after Hulusi Behçet (1889–1948), (Fig. 1), the Turkish dermatologist and scientist who first recognized the syndrome.
Figure 1. Hulusi Behçet (1889–1948)
Fordyce’s spots [3]
The spots are a form of ectopic sebaceous gland which may occur on the lips and other
body sites. Named after an American dermatologist, John Addison Fordyce (1858- 1925), (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. John Addison Fordyce (1858 – 1925)
Hutchinson teeth [4]
Hutchinson’s teeth are a sign of congenital syphilis. It is named after Sir Jonathan Hutchinson (1828-1913), (Fig. 3), an English surgeon and pathologist, who first described them.
Figure 3. Sir Jonathan Hutchinson (1828 – 1913)
Ludwig angina [5,6]
Wilhelm Frederick von Ludwig (1790-1865), (Fig. 4), a German physician first described in 1836 a potentially fatal, rapidly spreading soft tissue infection of the neck and floor of the mouth. The condition was later named „Ludwig’s angina”, a term which persists in medicine to this day.
Figure 4. Wilhelm Frederick von Ludwig (1790 – 1865)
Miescher’s cheilitis [7]
Miescher’s cheilitis is another less commonly used name for Granulomatous cheilitis. Miescher’s cheilitis is named for Alfred Guido Miescher (1887-1961), (Fig. 5), who was an Italian-born Swiss dermatologist. 
Granulomatous cheilitis or cheilitis granulomatosa is a monosymptomatic form of the Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome (MRS). MRS is characterized by a triad of symptoms, typically with an onset in childhood or youth. It comprises recurrent facial paralysis (in 30% of cases), chronic edema of face and lips and fissured tongue (lingua plicata). MRS was described by Melkersson in 1928 and, Rosenthal in 1931 emphasized that lingua plicata (fissured tongue) is commonly related. However, there are several earlier descriptions of the condition-by Paul Hübschmann (1894), Lothar von Frankl-Hochwart (1891) and Grigorii Ivanovich Rossolimo (1901). Ernst Gustaf Melkersson (1898-1932) was born and educated in Sweden. Later, he worked at the medical department of the Gothenburg Sahlgrenska sjukhuset.
Curt Rosenthal (1892-1937), was born in Germany and worked at the University of Breslau psychiatry and neurology clinic. The designation Melkersson’s syndrome was suggested to honor Melkersson, who had died so young, but the term Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome has now been generally accepted.
Figure 5. Alfred Guido Miescher (1887-1961)
Sjögren’s syndrome [8]
Sjögren syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease – an inflammatory exocrinopathy – affecting mainly postmenopausal women (80-90%) or younger women
after artificial menopause.
It is named for, Henrik Samuel Conrad Sjögren (1899-1986) (Fig. 6), a Swedish ophthalmologist. SS is also known as, Gougerot-Houwer-Sjögren syndrome, Gougerot- -Sjögren syndrome, Sjögren disease and von Mikulicz-Gougerot-Sjögren syndrome. In 1925, Henri Gougerot (1881-1955), a French dermatologist, described three cases of salivary gland atrophy associated with dry eyes, mouth and vagina. Houwer (1927) and Wisssmann (1932) noted the joint occurrence of keratoconjunctivitis sicca and arthritis. Sjögren in 1933 published the complete disease picture.Sjögren described his syndrome in 1933 in his doctoral thesis „Zur Kenntnis der keratoconjunctivitis sicca”. Jan Mikulicz-Radecki (German: Johann von Mikulicz-Radecki) (1850-1905), was a Polish-Austrian surgeon. His name is also associated with one of the eponyms of this syndrome.
Figure 6. Henrik Samuel Conrad Sjögren (1899-1986). A courtesy of the South Swedish Society for the History of Medicine
Stevens–Johnson syndrome [9]
Also known as erythema multiform major. It is characterized by mucous membranes erosions. The main known cause is certain medications, followed by infections and, rarely, cancers. Stevens–Johnson Syndrome is named for Albert Mason Stevens and Frank Chambliss Johnson, American pediatricians who jointly published a description of the disorder.
Takahara disease [10]
This is another name for Acatalasemia, a rare disease in which the enzyme catalase is deficient in the liver, muscles, bone marrow, erythrocytes, and skin. The absence of catalase leads to progressive gangrene of the mouth, with recurrent ulcerations resulting from increased susceptibility to infection by anaerobic organisms. In 1948, Dr. Shigeo Takahara (1908-1994), a Japanese otolaryngologist first reported this disease.
Van Der Woude syndrome (VDWS) [11]
It is a genetic disorder characterized by the combination of lower lip pits, cleft lip with
or without cleft palate, and cleft palate alone (CP). The association between lower lip pits and cleft lip and/or palate was first described by Anne Van der Woude in 1954.
Vincent disease [12]
This is a synonym for Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis , a disease characterized by a rapid onset of characteristic punched-out ulcerations appearing on the interdental papillae and marginal gingivae. The lesions may spread rapidly and involve entire respiratory tract. There is a characteristic foul, fetid odor that is always present. It is named after French physician Jean Hyacinthe Vincent (1862–1950), (Fig. 7).
igure 7. Jean Hyacinthe Vincent (1862 – 1950)
Wickham striae [13]
Wickham striae are whitish lines visible in the lesions of lichen planus. Named after, Louis Frédéric Wickham (1861-1913), (Fig. 8), a French physician and pathologist.
Figure 8. Louis Frédéric Wickham (1861 – 1913)
Table I. Selected Eponyms in the dermatology literature linked to oral disorders

1.Subramanyam RV: Misnomers in oral pathology. Oral Dis. 2010;16:740-6. 2. Al Aboud K, Al Aboud A: Eponyms in dermatology literature linked to genital skin disorders. 2013;4: in press. 3. Al Aboud K, Al Hawsawi K, Ramesh V, Al Aboud D, Al Githami A. Eponyms in dermatology. Skinmed. 2004;3:11-2. 4. van Ruth S, Toonstra J: Eponyms of Sir Jonathan Hutchinson. Int J Dermatol. 2008;47:754-8. 5. Wasson J, Hopkins C, Bowdler D: Did Ludwig’s angina kill Ludwig? J Laryngol Otol. 2006;120:363-5. 6. Murphy SC: The person behind the eponym: Wilhelm Frederick von Ludwig (1790-1865). J Oral Pathol Med. 1996;25:513-5. 7. Al Aboud K, Al Aboud D: Eponyms in dermatology literature linked to Switzerland. Our Dermatol Online. 2013;4:121-7. 8.Al Aboud K, Al Aboud A: Eponyms in dermatology literature linked to Sweden. Our Dermatol Online. 2013;4:117-20. 9. Maximova N, Granzotto M, Kiren V, Zanon D, Comar M: First description of Merkel Cell polyomavirus DNA detection in a patient with Stevens-Johnson syndrome. J Med Virol. 2013;85:918-23. 10. Góth L, Nagy T: Acatalasemia and diabetes mellitus. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 15;525:195-200. 11. Soni R, Vivek R, Srivastava A, Singh A, Srivastava S, Chaturvedi TP: Van der woude syndrome associated with hypodontia: a rare clinical entity. Case Rep Dent. 2012;2012:283946. 12. Campbell CM, Stout BM, Deas DE: Necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis: a discussion of four dissimilar presentations. Tex Dent J. 2011;128:1041-51. 13. Steffen C, Dupree ML: Louis-Frédéric Wickham and the Wickham’s striae of lichen planus. Skinmed. 2004;3:287-9.



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