Tag Archives: Spring 2013

All life is a gift

“I am tired,” said Mr. Hale. “I’m fifty-five years of age, and that little fact of itself accounts for any loss of strength.” “Nonsense! I’m upward of sixty and feel no strength, either bodily or mental. Don’t let me hear you talking so. Fifty-five! Why, you’re quite a young man.” Elisabeth Gaskell, North and South, […]

The heart in Star Trek

Victor Grech Tal-Qroqq Star Trek (ST) is a fictional utopian future history depicting how humanity might develop up to the 24th century. The series and movies comprise a metanarrative that encompasses 735 hours of viewing time, and thereby provides a fertile ground for analysis of various areas of critical study. In several ST episodes, the […]

Saving hearts and art

Riccardo Benvenuto Maria Serratto-Benvenuto Chicago, Illinois, United States Figure 1 Lactatio Bernardi e Madonna Regina Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo Figure 2 St. Antonio e St. Paolo Carlo Giuseppe Ratti   In 1960 a girl was born in the small commune of Mele, some 25 miles from Genoa. She had a heart murmur and her skin was […]

History of endocarditis

Ramin Sam California, United States   Until the advent of the 19th century there had been autopsy reports of patients who may had suffered from infective endocarditis, but little was known of the disease and there had been no description of it.1 By the beginning of the 20th century, however, infective endocarditis had become a […]

Dr. Robert E. Gross and first operations in cardiovascular surgery

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Robert E. Gross (1905-1988) There is a myth that Dr. Robert E. Gross (1905-1988), a Harvard surgeon, performed the first cardiovascular surgery. There is no question that he performed the first successful major operation on the great vessels near the heart in which the patient survived, the ligation […]

Christiaan Barnard and the first heart transplant

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Christiaan Barnard (1922—2001) In 1968 while I was a cardiology fellow at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, there was a buzz of excitement—Christiaan Barnard was coming to talk about his heart transplants! Our chief cardiovascular surgeon at the time was C. Walton Lillehei, no slouch of […]

Adrian Kantrowitz: the IABA and the LVAD

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Adrian Kantrowitz (1918-1998) I first met Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz at my fourth-year surgery oral examination. He was one of three interviewers, and although I was sure that I failed the exam, he assured me that I had done well. I next met him almost 10 years later when […]

Cournand and Richards: pioneers in cardiopulmonary physiology

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Andre Cournand (1895—1988) Dickinson W. Richards, Jr. (1895—1973) During World War I among the allied forces were an artillery lieutenant just out of college and a medical student who acted as an auxiliary battle surgeon because of the high mortality among battalion surgeons. They were, respectively, Dickinson […]

The electrocardiographic diagnosis of myocardial ischemia and infarction: 1917-1942

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Although myocardial infarction and angina pectoris had been recognized as serious heart conditions associated with sudden death since the 19th century (based primarily on patient symptoms of chest pain and pathologic correlations of involvement primarily of the left ventricle), James B. Herrick’s classic 1912 paper on the association […]

The early history of anticoagulants: 1915–1948

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Dedicated to the memories of Irving S. Wright and Stephen S. Scheidt, former colleagues at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center.Much of the background for this essay was provided by the Mueller-Scheidt Special Report, to which I am grateful.1 Steve Scheidt was a colleague of mine at […]