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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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Pavlos Plessas

Pavlos Plessas was born and brought up on the island of Zakynthos (Zante) in Greece. He lives in London but maintains an internet blog that explores the history of his native island. He is a historian of the island and an internet blogger.

Knowing the island, its history and its people he never believed that Vesalius was shipwrecked, left to die helpless and buried near the beach of Laganas. When the local interest in Vesalius was rekindled by the visit of Pascale Pollier and Theo Dirix, he tried to separate the evidence from rumours and speculation to see if a rational explanation of the mystery could be found.

He was approached by Pascale Pollier and Theo Dirix and asked to assist in their search for Vesalius' grave. With the help of local people and old maps he found the approximate location of the Santa Maria church, by which Vesalius had been buried. The scientific work of Dr. Sylviane Dederix confirmed that this was indeed the spot where the church once stood.

Thanks to Pavlos Plessas for collaborating with "Medical Terminology Daily" and allowing us to re-publish his work on "Powerful indications that Vesalius died from scurvy", presented originally at the 2014 "Vesalius Continuum" meeting in Zakynthos, Greece.

Pavlos Plessas


UPDATE: Pavlos' article and theory was refutted by Theor Dirix and Dr. Rudi Coninx. both contributors to this blog. Their article is entitled "Did Andreas Vesalius really die from Scurvy?". Not to be undone, Pavlos published his own rebuttal to their theory in the article "An answer regarding the death of Andreas Vesalius".


Following are some links to Pavlos Plessas' blog articles: