Straightforward, unambiguous terminology can reduce the risk of labelling patients inappropriately
Whenever the definition of a diagnostic term is changed, a Pandora’s box of potential confusion is opened. Are all clinicians and research investigators using the same criteria? If a patient has been given a diagnostic label, does it refer to the old or the new definition? Barrett’s oesophagus has changed its definition more than once over the past five decades and is a prime example of how changing definitions causes confusion for clinicians and investigators alike.1,2 A solution to this problem lies in avoiding the potentially confusing term “Barrett’s oesophagus” altogether. Moreover, this is possible by using existing terminology without the need for any new definitions.
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