Tag Archives: Spring 2013

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lewis Atterbury Conner: cofounder of the American Heart Association

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Lewis Atterbury Conner (1867-1950) Photograph courtesy of American Heart Association, Inc., 1998 Dr. Lewis Atterbury Conner (1867-1950) was the chief of the New York Hospital medical service. He made rounds with the medical staff even on Sundays, when he would come from church wearing a morning coat, […]

James Bryan Herrick

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   James B. Herrick (1861—1954) Each year the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology honors a physician “whose scientific achievements have contributed profoundly to the advancement and practice of clinical cardiology.” This award is named after the physician James B. Herrick (1861-1954) who, within a two-year period, […]

The First Russian Revolution: 1905-1913

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Within the years 1905-1913, three figures associated with the Imperial Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg presented papers that provided the stepping-stones for the study of two major conditions leading to cardiovascular disease—hypertension and atherosclerosis. They created the seeds of a revolution that outlasted the more famous […]