Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Jean Cruveilhier – first described the lesions of multiple sclerosis

Jean Cruveilhier was born in 1791 in Limoges, France, the son of a military surgeon. He had intended to become a priest but changed his mind at the insistence of his father and became a doctor, graduating from the University of Paris in 1816. In 1823 he was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Montpellier. Returning to the University of Paris in 1825 as professor of descriptive anatomy, he was appointed in 1836 to chairman of the newly created chair in pathologic anatomy. He worked at the Charité and Salpetriere hospitals, and also had a very large clinical practice. A competent clinician but not a great teacher or innovator, he published between 1829 and 1842 an important atlas of pathological anatomy. In this he probably was the first to describe the lesions of multiple sclerosis, and also depicted cases of gastric ulcer, progressive muscular atrophy, congenital cirrhosis of the liver, tuberculosis of the spine, hydatid cyst, and subluxation of the C1-C2 vertebrae. His name was associated at one time with several parts of the human body and its diseases, now largely replaced by modern anatomical nomenclature. He was president of the Académie de médecine and of the Société anatomique. He died in 1874 at the age of eighty-three.

GEORGE DUNEA, MD, Editor-in-Chief

Fall 2018



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