Are there differences between renal, hepatic, cardiac and kidney, liver and heart? Is the "jargon" used more commonly because of tradition, or is there some definitive biological basis to it?


closed as off-topic by Chris, L.B., C_Z_, Remi.b, CKM Apr 15 '15 at 22:50

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    $\begingroup$ The former words have latin roots, and historically latin was the language of science. Therefore, nomenclature in different scientific fields are often based on latin roots. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 11 '15 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with Chris. Questions on technical terminology are a perfect fit here. For example, what if the reason behind the terminology is based on historical events. Doesn't the history of biology still matter on this forum? $\endgroup$ – SmugDoodleBug Apr 17 '15 at 10:52
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    $\begingroup$ Also, note the answer provided by "fileunderwater". His answer makes note of the fact that there exists a specific and technical difference between the terms. If I ask why a Histone scaffold is not called a Solenoid, that is a valid question with a basis formed by the terminology set by the scientific community. In other words, it's not a matter of "english language and usage". They have essentially asked whether or not there is a difference between the renal system and the kidney. $\endgroup$ – SmugDoodleBug Apr 17 '15 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater the jargon is consisted of both Latin and Greek. $\endgroup$ – bonCodigo Jul 3 '15 at 7:30

Medicine is not my field, but I want to point out two things:

  1. The former words have latin (or greek) roots, and historically latin was the international language of science. Therefore, nomenclature in different scientific fields are often based on latin.

  2. The former words describe tissues and the related functions/processes (e.g. renal = kidney + related tissues + processes carried out by the renal system), while the latter are names of organs. Therefore, the former words are more suitable and precise when you want to describe these processes. For instance (as far as I know), Hepatic disease can be be caused by problems outside of the liver as such, e.g. blockage in the hepatic vein.

Users more knowledgeable in medicine are welcome to fill in or correct me if I'm mistaken.


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