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

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.

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
. "The origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, HA; 1970

 "Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc., and the contributors of "Medical Terminology Daily" wish to thank all individuals who donate their bodies and tissues for the advancement of education and research”.

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Enrique Finochietto, MD

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.

Enrique Finochietto, MD (1881 – 1948) Argentinian surgeon and researcher, Enrique Finochietto was born in 1881 in the city of Buenos Aires. He studied in both public and private schools, entering medical school at age 16. He received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires in 1904.

Shortly after graduation, he became an intern at the Rawson hospital of Buenos Aires. Dr. Finochietto would become part of the staff of this hospital and be part of its staff all his life. He traveled to Europe to study with surgeons such as Calot, Kocher, Roux, and others, visiting France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.

Upon his return he dedicated himself to surgery and endoscopy, and with the help of his brother Ricardo started research and invented many medical and surgical devices, including a motorized surgical table, endoscopic devices and surgical instruments, some of which are in use today throughout the world.

Enrique Finochietto and the Finochietto rib spreader
During World War I Dr. Finochietto worked for no fee (ad honorem) as surgeon-in-chief at the Argentine Hospital in Paris. For his dedication and work, France awarded him the Legion d’Honneur and the Red Cross.  He came back to Argentina and then traveled to the USA where he visited with the Mayo Brothers and Harvey Cushing. One of Dr. Finochietto’s mottos was “Only the surgeon who goes beyond his obligations serves his duty”.

Although mostly remembered for the Finochietto rib spreader, Dr. Finochietto tackled most types of surgery during his career, including neurosurgery, gastrointestinal, thyroid, thoracic, and orthopedic.

Dr. Finochietto died on February 17, 1948. His legacy in Argentinian surgery lives on through his school of thought, research and disciples.

If you click on Dr. Finochietto’s image (courtesy of Wikipedia) you will see an image of his namesake rib spreader (courtesy of Surgiway, France ).

1. “Memoir: Enrique Finochietto, MD (1881 – 1948)” DeBakey. ME. Ann Surg. 1948 Aug; 128(2): 319–320
2. “Enrique Finochietto” The Legacy of Surgery in Argentina” De La Fuente, SG. J Surg Ed (2007)64:2; 120-123
3. “El separador intercostal de Enrique Finochietto, el hospital Rawson, la escuela quir?rgica, y una an?cdota que los relaciona” Saadia, A. Rev Arg Cir Cardiovasc (2009) 3:3 149-150
4. “Rese?as hist?ricas: Enrique Finochietto” Parquet RA. Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam (2009); 39:18
5. “Surgery in Argentina” Beveraggi, EM. Arch Surg (1999) 134”438-444
6. “The Legends Behind Cardiothoracic Surgical Instruments” Ailawadi, G et al. Ann Thorac Surg (2010) 89:5; 1693-1700