Protean (term)

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Protean in standard English has the meaning of something that appears in many different forms. In the same vein, in radiological usage it is used to describe a condition which can assume multiple different guises. One of its classic uses is for the imaging appearance of osteomyelitis which can look like virtually anything.

It is derived from a name (see below) and therefore may be capitalized or non-capitalized.

History and etymology

From the Ancient Greek name Proteus, a god of the sea who was a shapeshifter, and therefore could take on an infinite variety of appearances 1.

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Article information

rID: 64575
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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