Eponymous signs in toxicology and poisoning in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Tekiner H., Yale E. S., Yale S. H.

Toxicology reports, vol.8, pp.1583-1591, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2021.08.003
  • Journal Name: Toxicology reports
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1583-1591
  • Keywords: Biography, Eponyms, History of medicine, Poisons, Terminology, Toxicology
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Toxicology emerged as an independent discipline in the early nineteenth century and has been aided by the development of numerous sophisticated tests that allow physicians and scientists to identify, quantify, and quantitate elements, chemicals, compounds, and toxins and to sort them into their component parts. These developments also contributed to enrich toxicological terminology with many new terms and eponyms in particular. Eponyms are ascribed to a variety of phenomena including attributing, in many cases, to the person who first identified or described a particular phenomenon and are named for the variety of findings found during the medical, surgical, pathological, or laboratory evaluation. Focusing on eponymous signs caused by poisons and toxins, the purpose of this paper is to honor the eponymous persons who first discovered, described, or more fully elaborated the finding. Nearly 30 associated eponyms have been identified in the literature, half of which were named for persons (e.g., Anstie sign, Billard sign, Blyth sign, Burton sign/line, Corrigan sign, Hertoghe sign, Peary sign). We believe that they are important to learn as they impart an in-depth appreciation of their role and application during the clinical examination. Knowledge of the person's biographical accomplishment(s) and character imparts a personalized and humane qualities to these signs from a medico-historical perspective. Understanding these signs and how to recognize them provides a method applying the bedside clinical examination to further support clinical suspicion or diagnose disease.