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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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Giulio Cesare Aranzio (Arantius)


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.

Giulio Cesare Aranzio (1530 -1589) Italian surgeon and anatomist. Born in Bologna, Giulio Cesare Aranzio is better known by the Latinized version of his name Julius Caesar Arantius. His Italian last name is sometimes spelled Aranzi.

Born in a poor family, Aranzio began his medical studies under the tutelage of his uncle, Bartolommeo Maggi (1477 – 1552), studied medicine at the University of Bologna where he graduated MD in 1556. The same year he became a Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the in 1556. Arantius was the first lecturer at the University of Bologna to hold a separate professorship of anatomy. Before him, the University would allow any surgeon to perform dissection and lectures.

Arantius had several publications that include:

Observationes Anatomicas (Anatomical Observations)
De Humano Foetu  Opusculum (On the Human Fetus)
De Tumoribus Secundum Locos Affectos (Tumors according to the affected places)
Hippocratis librum de vulneribus capitis commentarius brevis (Short commentary on Hippocrates’ book on head wounds)

Giulio Cesare Aranzio (Arantius)
Arantius was the first to describe the foramen ovale (fossa ovalis) and the ductus arteriosus, discoveries that were later erroneously ascribed to Leonardo Bottalus (Botal). He also described the nodules in the leaflets of the aortic valve that today bear his name (nodules of Arantius) which he described as being “cartilaginous” in nature. This is not as farfetched as it seems as these nodules can become hypertrophic and harden with age. Arantius was also the first to describe the hippocampus, a formation on the brain associated with the limbic system, mood disorders, and depression.

Arantius was a consummate anatomist and a great surgeon. Apparently he treated nasal polyps, performed nasal reconstructions and a number of surgeries ahead of his time. One of his great anatomical observations was that the blood in the heart did not pass through “invisible pores” in the interventricular septum, but rather exits the heart through the pulmonary trunk, setting the stage for the discovery of circulation by William Harvey (1578 – 1609) We have not been able to find a portrait of Arantius and the only reference is a photograph of a bust with the name “Aranzio” located at the Medical Society in Bologna (Gurunluoglu, 2011)

Sources:
1. “Giulio Cesare Arantius (1530-1589): a surgeon and anatomist: his role in nasal reconstruction and influence on Gaspare Tagliacozzi” . Gurunluoglu R, Gurunluoglu A Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Jun;60(6):717-22
2. “Giulio Cesare Aranzio (Arantius) (1530-89) in the pageant of anatomy and surgery” Gurunluoglu R, Shafighi M, Gurunluoglu A, Cavdar S. J Med Biogr. 2011 May;19(2):63-9
3. “Hippocampus – Why is it studied so frequently?”Radonjic, V. et al Vojnosanit Pregl 2014; 71(2): 195–201
4: “The history of Bolngna University's Medical School over the centuries, A Short Review” Moroni, P. Acta Dermatoven APA Vol 9, 2000, No 2 73-75