Tag Archives: Tuberculosis

Christopher Wren’s contributions to medicine

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Left: Sir Christopher Wren. From James Bissett’s Magnificent Guide, 1808. Wellcome Collection via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: Blue plaque at Hampton Court Green. Photo by Edwardx on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. An extraordinary natural philosopher and Renaissance man, Christopher Wren (1632–1723) (Fig 1) was primarily an astronomer and […]

A historical review of Crohn’s disease

Anagha Brahmajosyula Bangalore, Karnataka, India   Portrait of Giovanni Battista Morgagni from De sedibus et causis morborum per anatomen indagates (1761). Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease, may cause inflammation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, with a predilection for the ileum. […]

Some Dickensian diagnoses

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Charles Dickens Lithograph by Sol Eytinge,1867, from Dickens and His Illustrators. Internet Archive. Public domain. What a gain it would have been to physic if one so keen to observe and facile to describe had devoted his powers to the medical art. – British Medical Journal obituary, 1870 […]

Love and syphilis: The marriage of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Nicolas Roberto Robles Diego Peral  Caceres, Spain   Figure 1. Portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. Valeriano Domínguez Bécquer. Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. ¡Cuánta nota dormía en sus cuerdas, como el pájaro duerme en las ramas, esperando la mano de nieve que sabe arrancarlas! How many notes sleep in its […]

Koch’s postulates revisited

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1722), a Dutch botanist, using his early microscope observed single-celled bacteria, which he reported to the Royal Society as animalcules. The science of bacteriology owes its origin to two scientists of coruscating originality, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Pasteur may be described as master-architect and Koch as master-builder […]

Jane Eyre and tuberculosis

Afsheen Zafar Rawalpindi, Pakistan   I had just put down my pen after the last patient left the room. She somehow reminded me of the Brontë sisters. She had been diagnosed with tuberculous axillary lymphadenitis after a biopsy but otherwise seemed to be in perfect health. Apparently she was not much disturbed by the diagnosis […]

Dr. Doyen separates conjoined twins in 1902

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Xiphopagus sisters “Radica” and “Doodica” of India before surgical intervention by Eugène Doyen, February 9, 1902. Filmed by Clément-Maurice. From Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle. Via French Wikipedia. Public domain. “They were so close to each other that they preferred death to […]

America’s first bronchoscopist

J. Gordon Frierson Palo Alto, California, United States   Autographed portrait of Chevalier Jackson. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. One day, in the tough coal-mining city of Pittsburgh of the early 1900s, two Sisters of Mercy brought an emaciated, severely dehydrated, seven-year-old girl to a doctor’s office. Sometime earlier the girl had swallowed lye, thinking […]

Infectious diseases in the Civil War

Lloyd Klein  San Francisco, California, United States   Dr. Louis Pasteur. Photo by Paul Nadar, 1878. Wellcome Collection. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. The main cause of death during the American Civil War was not battle injury but disease. About two-thirds of the 620,000 deaths of Civil War soldiers were caused by disease, including 63% […]

Robert Koch, M.D., and the cure for sleeping sickness: ethics versus economics

Howard Fischer  Uppsala, Sweden   Ugandans with their identity tags. 1907. In the activity report of the commission sent to East Africa to study sleeping sickness during the year 1906/1907 by R. Koch, M. Beck, and F. Kleine, p. 320. La Société francophone de médecine tropicale et santé internationale. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Primum non nocere. […]