Everyday new decision-making aids are being developed due to various advances in software technology. This article from the UK makes very interesting reading. The word ‘nomogram’ is derived from the Greek word translated as ‘law line’ or ‘alignment chart’. The earliest description of nomogram is from Leon Lalanne, a French engineer who used tables and graphs to construct a complex railway system in Belgium and France in 1840. In 1920 Lawrence Henderson from the USA (1920) was the first to introduce nomograms in medicine. I am sure some readers will remember the Henderson-Hasselbach equation of acid-base balance. The next popular nomogram to appear was for body mass index. In recent times there seems to be a new nomogram appearing for every ailment. Some of value to urologists are: 1) European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) risk tables for bladder cancer; 2) European Randomised study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) risk calculator estimating probability of prostate cancer prior to biopsy; 3) Copenhagen Prostate Cancer Center (CPC) risk calculator of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Let us hope that the appropriate use of nomograms can help doctors and patients alike in choosing the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. 

Who was the father of the nomogram?
Hadjipavlou M, Philippou Y, Dickinson I, Sriprasad S, et al.
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Arun K Sharma

West Herts NHS Trust (Watford General Hospital)

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