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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY

A Journal on Vascular and Endovascular Surgery


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
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HISTORY OF VASCULAR SURGERY: PERSONALITIES, TECHNIQUES, TURNING POINTS  


Giornale Italiano di Chirurgia Vascolare 1999 June;6(2):139-58

language: English, Italian

Aorta pathol­o­gy in the ­work by Laennec R. T. H.

Argenteri A.

From the Chair of Vascular Surgery University of Pavia, Italy Division of Vascular Surgery, University Centre Clinic Pavia, Italy


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Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1816-1826), togeth­er ­with Xavier Bichat, is ­still the great­est expo­nent of the new clin­i­cal ­school of med­i­cine ­based on objec­tive find­ings and obser­va­tion of symp­toms and ana­tom­o­path­o­log­i­cal alter­a­tions ­that had ­been found­ed by Jean Nicole Corvisart in the after­math of the French Revolution. The stetho­scope, his ­most bril­liant inven­tion, ­laid the bas­es for aus­cul­ta­tion ­which ­still ­remains one of the key symp­to­mat­o­log­i­cal activ­ities. Laennec’s expe­ri­ence in aus­cul­ta­tion was the out­come of his 2-vol­ume ­work enti­tled “Traité de ­l’auscultation ­médiate et des mal­a­dies des pou­mons et du ­coeur”. In the trea­tise in the sec­ond vol­ume ded­i­cat­ed to aus­cul­ta­tion of the car­di­o­vas­cu­lar appa­ra­tus, the mur­murs ­present in path­o­log­i­cal ves­sels and aneu­rys­mat­ic mass­es are clear­ly iden­ti­fied and ­described. It is in ­this con­text ­that Laennec ­describes and ­defines ­true and ­false aneu­rysms, con­clud­ing, ­albeit erro­ne­ous­ly, ­with the iden­tifi­ca­tion of a dis­sect­ing aor­tic aneu­rysm. In addi­tion to the anal­y­sis of the the­o­ries of the ­moment on the path­o­gen­e­sis of aor­tic aneu­rysm, the com­pli­ca­tions of tho­rac­ic and abdom­i­nal aor­tic aneu­rysm are exam­ined in sur­pris­ing­ly mod­ern ­terms.

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