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HISTORY OF VASCULAR SURGERY: PERSONALITIES, TECHNIQUES, TURNING POINTS   

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

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

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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