List of deprecated terms for diseases

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The following is a list of deprecated terms for diseases.

Obsolete term Preferred term Reference Notes
Apoplexy Stroke [1] Also a general term for internal bleeding in a specific organ.
Bends Decompression sickness [2] Referred to the associated musculoskeletal issues of decompression illness.
Bilious remitting fever Dengue fever [3] Used in reference to a 1780 outbreak in Philadelphia.
Break-bone fever Dengue fever [3] Used in reference to a 1780 outbreak in Philadelphia.
Break-heart fever Dengue fever [4]
Chokes Decompression sickness [2] Referred to the associated breathing issues of decompression illness.
Consumption Tuberculosis [5] So-called due to the wasting that occurs in the late stages of infection.
Dandy fever Dengue fever [4] A reference to the mincing walk adopted by sufferers.
Dropsy Edema [6]
Dum-dum fever Leishmaniasis [7] The term is derived from the city of Dum Dum, the site of an outbreak.
English disease Rickets [8] So named due to its prevalence in English slums.
French disease Syphilis [9] Used as an ethnic slur against the French.
Front-street fever Dengue fever [3] Used in reference to a 1780 outbreak in Philadelphia.
Gleet Gonorrhea [10] Usually refers to gonorrhea that is in semi-remission.
Great pox Syphilis [9] Used as a term of comparison to smallpox.
Grippe Influenza [11] From the French.
King's evil Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis [12] From the belief that the disease could be cured by a royal touch.
Lockjaw Trismus [13] The term is sometimes used as a synonym for tetanus, which usually first manifests as trismus.
Norwalk virus Norovirus [14] Named after the town of Norwalk, Ohio, where the disease was first distinctly identified.
Phthisis Tuberculosis [5] From the Greek word for consumption.
Quinsy Peritonsillar abscess [15] From the French term esquinancie.
Saint Vitus Dance Sydenham's chorea [16] Named for Saint Vitus, an early Christian martyr.
Spanish fever Influenza [17] Used in reference to the 1918 flu pandemic.
Squinsy Peritonsillar abscess [15] From the French term esquinancie.
Staggers Decompression sickness [2] Referred to the associated neurological issues of decompression illness.
Undulant fever Brucellosis [18] The name is a reference to the rising and falling of the patient's temperature.
White Plague Tuberculosis [5] The name refers to the pallor of the victims of "consumption" (severe tuberculosis).
Woolsorter's disease Anthrax [19] Refers to people who tended to contract the disease (from the sheep)


  1. ^ Breitenfeld, T; Jurasic, MJ; Breitenfeld, D (September 2014). "Hippocrates: the forefather of neurology". Neurological Sciences. 35 (9): 1349–52. doi:10.1007/s10072-014-1869-3. PMID 25027011.
  2. ^ a b c Francis, T James R; Mitchell, Simon J (2003). "10.6: Manifestations of Decompression Disorders". In Brubakk, Alf O; Neuman, Tom S. Bennett and Elliott's physiology and medicine of diving (5th Revised ed.). United States: Saunders Ltd. pp. 578–99. ISBN 0-7020-2571-2. OCLC 51607923.
  3. ^ a b c Rush, Benjamin (1805). Medical Inquiries and Observations. 1. J. Conrad & Company. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  4. ^ a b Halstead, Scott B. (2009-03-31). Dengue. Imperial College Press. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  5. ^ a b c Jules Dubos, René; Jean Dubos (1952). The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man, and Society. Rutgers University Press.
  6. ^ Stitt, Edward Rhodes; Richard Pearson Strong (1944). Stitt's Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of tropical diseases. 2. Blakiston. p. 1018.
  7. ^ Kormano, Martti; Ilmari Lindgren; Inkeri Helander (1999-01-01). Radiological Findings in Skin Diseases and Related Conditions. Thieme. p. 106.
  8. ^ Bivins, Roberta (2007). ""The English Disease" or "Asian Rickets"?". Bull Hist Med. 81: 533–68. doi:10.1353/bhm.2007.0062. PMC 2630160. PMID 17873451.
  9. ^ a b Arrizabalaga, Jon; John Henderson; Roger Kenneth French (1997-02-27). The Great Pox: The French Disease in Renaissance Europe. Yale University Press. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  10. ^ Dick, Henry (1858). Gleet: its pathology and treatment. Baillière.
  11. ^ Potter, CW (2001). "A history of influenza". Journal of Applied Microbiology. 91 (4): 572–579. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2672.2001.01492.x. PMID 11576290.
  12. ^ Murray, JF; Rieder, HL; Finley-Croswhite, A (June 2016). "The King's Evil and the Royal Touch: the medical history of scrofula". The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 20 (6): 713–6. doi:10.5588/ijtld.16.0229. PMID 27155172.
  13. ^ Wells CL, Wilkins TD (1996). "Clostridia: Sporeforming Anaerobic Bacilli". In Baron S, et al. Baron's Medical Microbiology. Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  14. ^ "Noroviruses - Fact Sheet". Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b Richard Gleason Greene (1890). The International cyclopedia: a compendium of human knowledge, Volume 12. Dodd, Mead. pp. 355–6. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  16. ^ "NINDS Sydenham Chorea Information Page". February 14, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  17. ^ Smith, P (2009). "Swine Flu". Croatian Medical Journal. 50 (4): 412–5. doi:10.3325/cmj.2009.50.412. PMC 2728380. PMID 19673043.
  18. ^ "PubMed Health". Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  19. ^ Sidel, V; Cohen, HW; Gould, RM (May 2002). "From woolsorters to mail sorters: anthrax past, present, and future". American Journal of Public Health. 92 (5): 705–6. doi:10.2105/ajph.92.5.705. PMC 1447147. PMID 11988429.

External links

  • Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms
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