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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY
A Journal on Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
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.
From the Chair of Vascular Surgery University of Pavia, Italy Division of Vascular Surgery, University Centre Clinic Pavia, Italy
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.