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Morgagni, Giovanni Battista

pathology brain lesions anatomy

[mawr gan yee] (1682–1771) Italian anatomist: pioneer of pathology.

Graduating in Bologna, Morgagni taught anatomy there and later in Padua. Although active in anatomical research throughout his life, his great work was not published until he was 80. This was a survey of about 700 cases, written in the form of 70 letters to an unknown medical friend. For each case, he describes first the clinical features of the illness in life and then the post-mortem findings. His object was always to relate the illness to the lesions found at autopsy. He did not use a microscope. After Morgagni’s book, physicians increasingly related symptoms to ‘a suffering organ’ rather than to ‘an imbalance of the four humours’ and developed methods such as percussion in 1761 (L Auenbrugger, 1722–1809) auscultation and radiography to locate lesions causing disease. Morgagni was the first to describe syphilitic tumours of the brain and tuberculosis of the kidney, and to recognize that, where paralysis affects one side of the body only, the lesion is on the other side of the brain. The modern science of morbid anatomy, central to pathology, begins with him.

Morgan, J.P. - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: J.P. Morgan, Social and Economic Impact [next] [back] Moreland, Mantan (1902–1973)

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