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Out, Out Damn Spot, or the Demise of the Mongolian Spot

Out, Out Damn Spot, or the Demise of the Mongolian Spot Abstract Sir.—Although "mongolism" and "mongoloid" slant of the eyes have been replaced by the more accurate terms Down syndrome and upslantingpalpebral fissures, the term mongolianspot persists in common pediatric usage.1-7 This benign, blue-gray macule occurs frequently in infants of Asian, Mediterranean, and African heritage. Anthropologic theories have attempted to explain the origin of this spot, suggesting that it was derived from the racial admixture resulting from the Mongolian invasion of Europe.8 It had been noted that the spot was more common in "Mongolian" nonwhite races, hence the appellation. However, not all Asian people are derived from Mongolian tribes and, conversely, not all Mongolians are Asian. Pediatric textbooks have commented that the term mongolian spot is "... an unfortunate name for such a common benign skin discoloration,"5 and this lesion has "... no known anthropological significance."7 We suggest that mongolian spot be replaced with blue-gray macule of References 1. Bates B. A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott; 1991:583. 2. Swartz MH. Textbook of Physical Diagnosis . Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1989: 551. 3. Avery ME, First LR. Pediatric Medicine . Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1989:1150. 4. Rudolph AM. Pediatrics . 19th ed. East Norwalk, Conn: Appleton & Lange; 1991:170. 5. Oski FA. Principles and Practices of Pediatrics . Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott; 1990:825. 6. Hoekelman RA. Primary Pediatric Care . 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby–Year Book; 1992:470. 7. Behrman RE, Kliegman RM, Nelson WE, Vaughan VC. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 14th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:WB Saunders Co; 1992:423. 8. Cordova A. The mongolian spot . Clin Pediatr . 1981;20:714-719.Crossref 9. Kaplan RE. Ink-blot macules: an alternative to 'mongolian spots.' Pediatr Dermatol . 1984; 2:86.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Diseases of Children American Medical Association

Out, Out Damn Spot, or the Demise of the Mongolian Spot

Out, Out Damn Spot, or the Demise of the Mongolian Spot

Abstract

Abstract Sir.—Although "mongolism" and "mongoloid" slant of the eyes have been replaced by the more accurate terms Down syndrome and upslantingpalpebral fissures, the term mongolianspot persists in common pediatric usage.1-7 This benign, blue-gray macule occurs frequently in infants of Asian, Mediterranean, and African heritage. Anthropologic theories have attempted to explain the origin of this spot, suggesting that it was derived from the racial admixture resulting...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1993 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0002-922X
DOI
10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160310016004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Sir.—Although "mongolism" and "mongoloid" slant of the eyes have been replaced by the more accurate terms Down syndrome and upslantingpalpebral fissures, the term mongolianspot persists in common pediatric usage.1-7 This benign, blue-gray macule occurs frequently in infants of Asian, Mediterranean, and African heritage. Anthropologic theories have attempted to explain the origin of this spot, suggesting that it was derived from the racial admixture resulting from the Mongolian invasion of Europe.8 It had been noted that the spot was more common in "Mongolian" nonwhite races, hence the appellation. However, not all Asian people are derived from Mongolian tribes and, conversely, not all Mongolians are Asian. Pediatric textbooks have commented that the term mongolian spot is "... an unfortunate name for such a common benign skin discoloration,"5 and this lesion has "... no known anthropological significance."7 We suggest that mongolian spot be replaced with blue-gray macule of References 1. Bates B. A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott; 1991:583. 2. Swartz MH. Textbook of Physical Diagnosis . Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co; 1989: 551. 3. Avery ME, First LR. Pediatric Medicine . Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1989:1150. 4. Rudolph AM. Pediatrics . 19th ed. East Norwalk, Conn: Appleton & Lange; 1991:170. 5. Oski FA. Principles and Practices of Pediatrics . Philadelphia, Pa: JB Lippincott; 1990:825. 6. Hoekelman RA. Primary Pediatric Care . 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby–Year Book; 1992:470. 7. Behrman RE, Kliegman RM, Nelson WE, Vaughan VC. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 14th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:WB Saunders Co; 1992:423. 8. Cordova A. The mongolian spot . Clin Pediatr . 1981;20:714-719.Crossref 9. Kaplan RE. Ink-blot macules: an alternative to 'mongolian spots.' Pediatr Dermatol . 1984; 2:86.Crossref

Journal

American Journal of Diseases of ChildrenAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jul 1, 1993

References