Serpiginous means creeping from one place to another. In medicine, it was originally, and still is commonly, applied to skin lesions that spread with an undulating border. However, radiology adopted the term in a manner synonymous with serpentine to mean tortuous, especially when describing blood vessels 2-4.
History and etymology
It derives from the Latin word serpīgo, which, like the Greek derivative herpes (ἕρπης), means "a creeping" 5,6. In now archaic English usage, serpigo refers to creeping skin diseases such as ringworm. Both serpigo and the English word serpent are derived from the Latin serpĕre, meaning "to creep" 1,5.
- 1. Ian Brookes. The Chambers Dictionary. (2018) ISBN: 9780550101853
- 2. Shamy MC, Yogendrakumar V, Iancu D, Bourque PR. Serpiginous cranial arterial calcification in uremia. (2017) Neurology. 89 (14): 1530-1531. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004546 - Pubmed
- 3. Di Chiro G. Serpentine (not serpiginous) vessels in spinal arteriovenous malformations. (1988) Radiology. 166 (1 Pt 1): 286. doi:10.1148/radiology.166.1.3336699 - Pubmed
- 4. Di Chiro G. "Serpentine" vessel, not "serpiginous". (1987) Journal of neurosurgery. 67 (3): 474. Pubmed
- 5. "serpigo, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2019. Web. 21 October 2019.
- 6. "herpes, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2019. Web. 21 October 2019.
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