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Eponyms in andrology


Andrology is the study of male reproductive health, its associated medicines, and biology, including functions and diseases that are specific to men, especially with regard to the reproductive organs. This concise report discusses the eponyms that are encountered in andrological literature.


Eponymes en Andrologie

L’andrologie est l’étude de la santé reproductive masculine, de ses médicaments et de sa biologie, ainsi que des fonctions et maladies qui sont spécifiques aux hommes, tout particulièrement celles qui concernent les organes reproducteurs. Ce rapport succinct discute les éponymes rencontrés dans la littérature andrologique.

Andrology is the scientific discipline that covers men’s health issues—essentially the male counterpart to the study of female reproductive health, or gynecology. However, unlike gynecology, andrology remains a less pervasive and extensively studied medical discipline. Increasing research and care in this specialty will ensure proper management of medical conditions that are related to men’s health.

As in other specialties, most of the nomenclature in male reproductive medicine and male sexuality are descriptive and are derived from Latin and Greek. The male genitalia were called “testes”, likely from the Latin word “testis,” which originally meant “witnesses”, because they provided evidence of virility [1], whereas sperm is derived from the Greek word (σπέρμα) sperma (meaning “seed”).

Prefixes from these ancient languages have been used to describe various conditions of semen and sperm—for example, oligospermia (few spermatozoa in semen) and globozoospermia for globe-headed spermatozoa.

Abbreviations are also widely used in andrological literature, such as in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI), intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI), and testicular sperm extraction (TESE) [2].

Eponyms are frequently encountered in andrology, but many doctors have no information about the origin or history of these eponyms.

In this commentary, we present select eponyms in andrology [38] (Table 1).

Table 1 Selected eponyms in Andrology literature
Figure 1
figure 1

Manes Kartagener (1897–1975).

Figure 2
figure 2

Harry Fitch Klinefelter, Jr.(1912–1990).

Figure 3
figure 3

Franz Leydig (1821 – 1908).

Figure 4
figure 4

François Gigot de La Peyronie (1678–1747).

Figure 5
figure 5

Enrico Sertoli (1842–1910).


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Correspondence to Khalid Al Aboud.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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KA, DA, SM, and AH participated in the sequence alignment and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Al Aboud, K., Al Aboud, D., Munshi, S. et al. Eponyms in andrology. Basic Clin. Androl. 24, 7 (2014).

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