Because syndrome designations permit the collection of data, they are much more than just lables. As new syndromes become delineated, their names connote (1) their phenotypic spectra, (2) their natural histories, and (3) their modes of inheritance or risk of recurrence. Various methods for designating new syndromes are reviewed, including naming them after (1) the basic defect, (2) an eponym, (3) one or more striking features, (4) an acronym, (5) a numeral, (6) a geographic term, and (7) some combination of the above. None of these systems of nomenclature is without fault. The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed.
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