Every Acronym Should Be Defined When It First Appears in a Publication
To the Editor:
I read the recent article on the ENTIRE trial1 several times, each time more carefully and thoroughly than the previous time, in an attempt to find out what the acronym ENTIRE stood for. I could never find in the entire article a definition of the acronym ENTIRE, although all the other acronyms mentioned in the same article, eg, TIMI, GUSTO, ASSENT, HART, and AMI-SK, were defined. In order to allay the anxiety and aggravation of your other readers who might be frustrated by their inability to decipher this acronym, I wish to come to their help. ENTIRE stands for ENoxaparin and Tnk-tpa with or without GPIIb/IIIa Inhibitor as REperfusion strategy in ST elevation myocardial infarction.2
Acronymophilia,3 though prevalent in the United States, is a worldwide problem and should be resisted. It was not long ago that I pointed out the prevalence of this phenomenon in this journal.4 The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors5 demand that acronyms be defined the first time they are used in any article. These requirements need to be reinforced to avoid reader aggravation, confusion, and frustration.
- ↵Antman EM, Louwerenburg HW, Baars HF, et al. Enoxaparin as adjunctive antithrombin therapy for ST-elevation myocardial infarction: results of the ENTIRE-Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) 23 trial. Circulation. 2002; 105: 1642–1649.
- ↵Cheng TO, Julian D. Acronyms of cardiologic trials–2002. Int J Cardiol. In press.
- ↵Cheng TO. Acronymophilia: the exponential growth of the use of acronyms should be resisted. BMJ. 1994; 309: 683-684.
- ↵Cheng TO. Unexplained acronyms. Circulation. 1999; 99: 1924–1925.