To the Editor:
In the excellent editorial on low-molecular-weight heparins by Antman and Handin,1 the authors had a boxed glossary of selected abbreviations and acronyms at the beginning of their article. But, for reasons unfathomable to me, the list did not contain any of the acronyms of trials mentioned in the text, eg, FRISC, FRIC, ESSENCE, TIMI, ENTICES, ATLAST, and HART. Similarly, in another article in the same issue by the French investigators of the ESSENCE trial,2 no explanation of the acronym ESSENCE was given either.
For those readers who are not acronymophilic3 and might feel very frustrated by all these unexplained acronyms, I wish to come to their aid: FRISC=FRagmin during InStability in Coronary artery disease FRIC=FRagmin In unstable Coronary artery disease ESSENCE=Efficacy Safety Subcutaneous Enoxaparin in Non–Q-wave Coronary Events study TIMI=Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction ENTICES=ENoxaparin and TIClopidine after Elective Stenting ATLAST=Antiplatelet Therapy versus Lovenox plus Antiplatelet therapy for patients with increased risk of Stent Thrombosis, or Aspirin/Ticlopidine versus Low molecular weight heparin/Aspirin/ticlopidine Stent Trial HART II=Heparin And Reperfusion Therapies
All of the above definitions could be found in the table of acronyms of clinical trials in cardiology that was published in 19964 and has been updated in 1998.5 Once again, I wish to make a Plea to Let Each Acronym be Spelled out Every time (PLEASE).6
- Copyright © 1999 by American Heart Association
Antman EM, Handin R. Low-molecular-weight heparins: an intriguing new twist with profound implications. Circulation. 1998;98:287–289.
Montalescot G, Philippe F, Ankri A, Vicaut E, Bearez E, Poulard JE, Carrie D, Flammang D, Dutoit A, Carayon A, Jardel C, Chevrot M, Bastard JP, Bigonzi F, Thomas D, for the French Investigators of the ESSENCE trial. Early increase of von Willebrand factor predicts adverse outcome in unstable coronary artery disease: beneficial effects of enoxaparin. Circulation. 1998;98:294–299.
Cheng TO. Acronymophilia: the exponential growth of the use of acronyms should be resisted. BMJ. 1994;309:683–684.
Cheng TO. Acronyms of clinical trials in cardiology-1998. Am Heart J. In press.
Cheng TO. Plea to Let Each Acronym be Spelled out Every time (PLEASE). Eur Heart J. 1995;16:292.