Cardiology - Hektoen International

Jean-Baptiste de Sénac and his early textbook on cardiology

Göran Wettrell Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Sénac (1693-1770). Wellcome Library, London. William Harvey was an important figure in the early days of cardiovascular physiology. Based on meticulous observations, he published De Motu Cordis and Sanguinus in 1628 and has been proposed as the founder of physiology and cardiology.1 During the […]

Heart to heart

Frank Buchar Hamilton, Ontario, Canada   Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash I had a heart attack on Valentine’s Day. What are the chances? Later, when I thought about the funny parts, like the undershorts I happened to be wearing, it struck me that you can find humor, like tragedy or farce, anywhere if you […]

Remembering Sir Thomas Lewis’ contribution to understanding heart failure

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Figure 1: British Medical Journal, 1930 a Sir Thomas Lewis (1881-1945) has been called one of the “fathers of modern cardiology” due to his many significant contributions to that discipline. In 1930 he wrote a landmark paper clarifying the disease “congestive (heart) failure,” revealing clues that are present […]

The importance of the “The David Sign”

Daniel M. Gelfman Thad E. Wilson Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Photo Credit: Daniel M. Gelfman, MD, September 28, 2018. A recent article in JAMA Cardiology titled “The David Sign” discussed the presence of “persistent” external jugular venous distention “hiding in plain sight” on one of the world’s most famous statues: Michelangelo’s David, completed in […]

Richard J. Bing: reflecting on a century of creativity and innovation

Joseph Burns Yehuda Shapir New Hyde Park, New York, United States   [Richard J. Bing, M.D.] 1975. National Library of Medicine. As the tenth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Richard J. Bing approaches, the occasion offers an opportune moment to reflect on the life and momentous achievements of an eminent cardiologist. Richard J. Bing […]

William Harvey before King Charles I

In 1628 William Harvey published his classic work De Motu Cordis (Of the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals) demonstrating that the blood passed from the left ventricle to the capillaries at the periphery and back through the veins to the right side of the heart. He received many honors for his work, and […]

Early clinical and molecular discoveries in Long QT Syndrome

Göran Wettrell Sweden   Fig. 1 Anton Jervell, Norwegian physician, hospital manager and later professor at the University of Oslo with research on heart diseases. Source Sudden and unexpected death in people who are less than thirty-five years of age is associated with negative autopsy results in forty percent of cases.1 Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) […]

Human heart in Descartes’s De Homine

The famous philosopher René Descartes had an interest in physiology. But although he is known to have carried out dissections and even vivisections, he was a theoretician and not an experimentalist. In 1643 he wrote that having read William Harvey’s 1628 De Moto Cordis he agreed with the theory that the blood circulated through the […]

Character, genius, and a missing person in medicine

Carrie Barron Austin, Texas, USA   The Calling “He is the most un-talked about, unacknowledged, unknown and most important figure in the African American community…A genius.”1 In 1944, a surgeon with his trusted guide by his side performed the very first open-heart surgery on a fifteen-month-old, nine-pound girl. 1930, Nashville. A twenty-year old African-American man, […]

William Heberden on angina pectoris, 1772

  “There is a disorder of the breast marked with strong and peculiar symptoms, considerable for the kind of danger belonging to it, and not extremely rare . . . The seat of it and the sense of strangling and anxiety with which it is attended, may make it not improperly be called angina pectoris. […]