Centennial of the string galvanometer and the electrocardiogram.
This article is a review of the history of the string galvanometer and of the electrocardiogram (ECG) on the occasion of the centennial of the instrument. Einthoven most likely developed the string galvanometer prior to 1901, the date of the first publication. The galvanometer made electrocardiography practical creating a new branch of medicine and even a new industry. In 1791 Galvani, in 1842 Mateucci and in 1855 Kolliker and Muller recorded, using the nerve muscle preparation, contraction of injured muscle, contraction of muscle when laid across a beating heart, and occasionally two contractions. In 1872 Lippmann introduced the capillary manometer. Using the capillary manometer Waller recorded for the first time from body surface voltage changes generated by the heart. Einthoven and Lewis dominated the early years of electrocardiography. The former made his contributions by 1913 while Lewis continued the studies of arrhythmias until 1920. The period following 1920 was influenced largely by Wilson. None did as much to advance ECG knowledge as did Wilson. The interest shifted to the theory of the ECG, abnormalities of wave form and of ECG leads. A major contribution of the ECG is in evaluation of ischemic heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias. Issues facing electrocardiography in the year 2000 include a shortage of experienced electrocardiographers, the advent of new noninvasive procedures and, paradoxically, wide acceptance of the ECG by the medical profession. The role of the computer in analysis of the clinical ECG is limited. The technique, while reasonably reliable for analysis of the normal tracing and some ECG waveforms, has serious limitations when applied to arrhythmias. The early hopes for "stand-alone" programs are yet to be realized. (+info)
Stamping out cancer.
It is universally acknowledged that if cancer is to be controlled, prevention and down staging are essential. In the year 2000 about 10 million new cases were registered, while 6.3 million people died from cancer worldwide. Stamps are regarded as a very useful and educative tool in fighting cancer by creating awareness and raising money for treatment and research. This year (2003) is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the issue of the first anticancer stamps in 1928, so an up-to-date review of the field of oncophilately is timely. (+info)
The Krukenberg hand.
Little has been published about the Krukenberg operation, which has been regarded as primarily indicated for the blind patient with bilateral hand amputations. Of the 35 Krukenberg cineplasty operations I have performed in the last 36 years, only two have been on blind patients. The operation provides forearm amputees with pincers which allow them to perform tasks without a prosthesis, but does not preclude the use of any type of aid. The author's operative procedure is described and the results illustrate its practical application for most patients. (+info)
Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874)--the average man and indices of obesity.
The quest for a practical index of relative body weight that began shortly after actuaries reported the increased mortality of their overweight policyholders culminated after World War II, when the relationship between weight and cardiovascular disease became the subject of epidemiological studies. It became evident then that the best index was the ratio of the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters, or the Quetelet Index described in 1832. Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874) was a Belgian mathematician, astronomer and statistician, who developed a passionate interest in probability calculus that he applied to study human physical characteristics and social aptitudes. His pioneering cross-sectional studies of human growth led him to conclude that other than the spurts of growth after birth and during puberty, 'the weight increases as the square of the height', known as the Quetelet Index until it was termed the Body Mass Index in 1972 by Ancel Keys (1904-2004). For his application of comparative statistics to social conditions and moral issues, Quetelet is considered a founder of the social sciences. His principal work, 'A Treatise of Man and the development of his faculties' published in 1835 is considered 'one of the greatest books of the 19th century'. A tireless promoter of statistical data collection based on standard methods and definitions, Quetelet organized in 1853 the first International Statistical Congress, which launched the development of 'a uniform nomenclature of the causes of death applicable to all countries', progenitor of the current International Classification of Diseases. (+info)
A brief Iranian medical history through commemorative postage stamps.
Medical philately provides a useful medium for the study of medical history. There are a handful of Iranian stamps which have been issued with a medical theme. This report briefly reviews the history of Iranian medicine through Iranian commemorative postage stamps. Some notable stamps are presented. (+info)
Honoring Avicenna, the great Persian physician on the world's postage stamps.
Dr. Hulusi Behcet was born on February 20, 1889 in Istanbul. He graduated from Gulhane Military Medical Academy in 1910 and then he specialized in Dermatology and Venereal Diseases. He served in the Edirne Military Hospital between 1914-1918 and then went to Budapest and Berlin to improve his knowledge. In 1923, he started at the Istanbul Medical Faculty as an academic staff and with university reform in 1933, he was appointed as a professor to Department of Dermatology and Venereal Diseases and continued his career there until his death in 1948. Three patients whom he had consulted for years and who shared similar symptoms made him suspect a new disease and a viral etiology which may play a role in the appearance of this disease. After several discussions and publications, medical literature had accepted Behcet's Disease as a special entity. Dr. Behcet published a total of 196 articles, 53 of which were published in prestigious international journals. (+info)