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More Misused and Unique Terms in Clinical Papers


This article covers commonly confused terms in clinical medicine manuscripts and case reports.

In this article, we revisit the topics of commonly misused and unique terminology in clinical papers. This phrasing is specific to case reports and other medical writing and may even appear grammatically incorrect in other contexts.

Download our free resource about terminology and phrasis in case reports.

Implanted/transplanted with

These terms may seem awkward but are commonly found in clinical papers. For example, if a device was implanted into a patient, the patient may be described as having been implanted with the device. Similarly, a patient who received an organ transplant may be said to have been transplanted with the organ.

Past/current history:

Although the term past history sounds redundant and the term current history appears contradictory, this phrasing is customarily used in case reports to describe a patient’s past and present conditions, respectively.

Phase X study in/of:

When detailing a clinical trial focusing on a specific disease or patient group, study in is the norm, whereas study of typically precedes the name of the treatment being tested or the outcome being explored. For example

  • Phase II study in breast cancer
  • Phase II study in breast cancer patients
  • Phase II study of a novel anticancer drug<
  • Phase II study of the anticancer effects of a novel drug

Preceding the name of a therapy with the preposition under may seem ungrammatical outside of clinical writing. However, sentences such as “The patient was under highly active antiretroviral treatment” are acceptable. The phrases under therapy with and under treatment with, followed by the name of the therapy, are also often employed.

We hope that today’s editing tip will be a useful guide for your clinical writing. Please also see our other articles on confused and misused terms, unique terms, and style and formatting in case reports and our downloadable resource on clinical writing for further guidance. If you have any questions, contact us at [email protected]. We wish you the best!

Tags Writing a manuscript Clinical medicine Editing tips Field specific terminology Word choice Confusing terms Medical writing Biomedical

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