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Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History

Antoine Louis
(1723–1792)

French surgeon, anatomist, and physiologist. Following his medical studies and a long career as a physiologist, Antoine Louis was named Permanent Secretary of the Royal French Academy of Surgery. His other titles were those of Professor of the Royal Academy, Consultant Surgeon of the Armies of the King, member of the Royal Society of Sciences of Montpellier, Inspector of the Royal Military Hospitals, and Doctor in Law of the University of Paris. As a member of these academies Louis was instrumental in the design and construction of the guillotine. Initially called the "Louisette", this device was later named after another French physician in the same committee, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin.

Antoine Louis' name is better know to history as the eponymic origin of the "sternal angle" also know as the "Angle of Louis" and synonymously (probably by misspelling or translation) the "angle of Lewis", and "angle of Ludwig". This anatomical landmark is extremely important as it serves as a superficial landmark for important anatomical occurrences (click here).

As a point of controversy, there are some that contest the history of this eponym adjudicating it to Pierre Charles Alexander Louis (1787-1872), another French physician dedicated to the study of tuberculosis.

Sources:
1. Srickland, N; Strickland A Angle of Louis, More Than Meets the Eye. MedTalks:
2. Ramana, R. K., Sanagala, T. and Lichtenberg, R. (2006), A New Angle on the Angle of Louis. Congestive Heart Failure, 12: 197–199
3
. "The origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, HA; 1970


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Václav Treitz


This article is part of the series "A Moment in History" where we honor those who have contributed to the growth of medical knowledge in the areas of anatomy, medicine, surgery, and medical research.To search all the articles in this series, click here.

UPDATED: Dr. Václav Treitz (1819 - 1872). Also known as Wenzel Treitz, Dr. Václav Treitz was born in Hostomice, Bohemia. He attended the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague studying humanities and medicine, receiving his medical degree in 1846. Treitz started postgraduate work at the Vienna General Hospital (Allgemeines Krankenhaus), where Joseph Skoda (1805-1881) was a proponent of “therapeutic nihilism” which stated that “drug treatment usually does more harm than good”, so a minimalistic or even pessimistic approach to diseases was used.

Large numbers of women at this hospital died of “puerperal fever” an postpartum uterine infection due to contamination by the unwashed hands of physicians and utter lack of cleanliness (septic technique had not been yet described). It was during Treitz’s time at the Vienna General Hospital that Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818 – 1865) stated his initial observations on asepsis. Treitz later became a follower of Semmelweis’ and Lister’s teachings and techniques.

In 1852 Treitz was appointed Professor of Pathological Anatomy in the Jagellonian University in Prague.

V?clav Treitz
Original imagecourtesy of Wikipedia.org.
In 1853 he published a paper ("Ueber einen neuen Muskel am Duodenum des Menschens" ) describing a new muscle he discovered at the duodenojejunal junction, later to be known as the eponymic “muscle of Treitz”; the fold of peritoneum over the muscle of Treitz is known today as the "ligament of Treitz". Treitz also described a paraduodenal retroperitoneal hernia that occurs at the paraduodenal recess, just lateral to the ligament of Treitz.

A staunch proponent of Czechoslovakian independence and language, Treitz was publicly attacked for his medical theories and nationalistic beliefs. Isolated and depressed, Treitz committed suicide in 1872.

Sources:
1. "V?clav Treitz (1819-1872): Czechoslovakian Pathoanatomist and Patriot” Fox, RS; Fox, CG; Graham, WP. World J. Surg. 9, 361-366, 1985
2. "Treitz of the ligament of Treitz". Haubrich, W S. (2005) Gastroenterology, 128 (2), 279
3. "Preserving Treitz's muscle in hemorrhoidectomy". Gemsenj?ger, E Diseases of the Colon & Rectum (1982), 25 (7), p. 633.
4. “The Muscle Of Treitz And The Plica Duodeno-Jejunalis” Crymble, PT. The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2598 (1910), 1156-1159