Tag Archives: Cardiology

Two giants in thoracic surgery: Clarence Crafoord and Åke Senning

Göran Wettrell Lund University, Sweden   Figure 1. Senning (left), Elmquist, and Crafoord (right) with an external pacemaker, Stockholm, Sweden. Photo courtesy of Marko Turina on Wikimedia (“Senning, Elmqvist & Crafoord 1954”). CC BY 3.0. Clarence Crafoord Clarence Crafoord (1899–1984) was one of the most outstanding surgeons in Sweden during the twentieth century (Figure 1). […]

Patients without borders: Cardiac surgery, activism, and advocacy

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   “Inspired by the media on the Dutch Heart Patient Organization” by Yasmine Hilhorst. In the 1970s, a “patients without borders” organization made it possible for people with severe heart disease to be flown to other countries for treatment that was unavailable in their home country. It was a decade after […]

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 Valsalva maneuver

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Valsalva’s maneuver. Source It is a paradox that the discovery of the Valsalva maneuver did not relate to cardiovascular physiology but to the treatment of discharges from the ear. Valsalva’s maneuver is now used physiologically1 to test cardiac and autonomic function, and in several other diagnostic and […]

Heart failure

Charles Halsted  Davis California, United States   By the time I completed my third medical school year, I had learned the basics of physiology and biochemistry, but had never been face-to-face with a person who depended upon my skills to survive. I had never heard a racing heart nor the sounds of gurgling lungs. I […]

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 […]