March 10, 2008

What's Food Got To Do With It

Fried eggI don't know who names these words, but whoever does it, seems to do it with a sense of perversion. Medical professionals are notorious in naming medical symptoms or signs or investigations in such a way that they are apt in describing the condition itself, but they make some delicious foods seem rather repugnant in the process.

Lets start with appetizers: Port wine stain (naevus flammeus) is a birthmark due to hemangioma, a conglomeration of dilated blood capillaries, which are often treated by laser.
If the word pea-soup makes you fell yummy, wait, for pea soup has traditionally been used to describe the stool of typhoid patients, while 'rice water' refer to the stool of cholera! If you want to find solace in coffee, coffee ground vomiting of hematemesis, in which the blood has been altered by its reaction with gastric acid (hydrochloric acid), won't let you, while teaspoon nails refer to koilonychia of iron deficiency anemia and nothing related to tea. Red currant jelly is not some salivating stuff rather it is something found in i
ntussusception, a situation when the intestinal coils get entangled.

Lets discuss fruits (desserts) instead. Perhaps they wouldn't let you down. But they have left no stone unturned here too. Strawberry angioma- is a birth mark, cherry red spot- another birthmark, peau d' orange refer to carcinoma of the breast, and lot more. No rest for the wicked!


Your appetite for Swiss roll by may be dampened when you know the fact that these are sheetlike membrane-coverings by Schwann cells, in the Peripheral Nervous System. Italian dish Spaghetti and meatball have not been spared too. They are found in Tinea versicolor, a skin condition characterized by both hyper and hypopigmentation, caused by Malassezia furfur. In endometrial hyperplasia (=Uterus) you will get Swiss cheese; if you want chocolate, don't ever try the chocolate cyst of ovary for they are endometriosis/endometrioma of the ovary.

If you wanted onion you better not confuse it with the onion peel appearance of Ewing's sarcoma. Be ware of: Popcorn calcification in Hodgkin's disease, melon seed bodies of tuberculous knee joint and the bunch of grapes of sarcoma botryoides: a tumour of skeletal muscles. Apple jelly (=lupus vulgaris) nodules, Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD): a branched chain ketoaciduria; are other decoys lurking in the dark. Fried egg appeareance is deceptive as it refers to Mycoplasma pneumonii of lung. The list is endless.

Perhaps, these nomenclatures reflect the attitude of the male dominated pathologists of that time towards the kitchen. With the advent of female pathologists in the arena the situation will probably change.

Check out for more at 'food for thought'! You will get a good poetry here.
Caption: The above heading has been intentionally rhymed with "What's Love Got To Do With It", by Tina Turner.
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