Giovanni Battista Morgagni

Giovanni Battista Morgagni [ d͡ʒovan ː i ː ista asked mɔrgaɲi ] (also Giambattista Morgagni, * February 25 1682 in Forli, † December 5, 1771 in Padua ) was a physician, anatomist and founder of modern pathology.


Morgagni was born in Forlì in Romagna and brought up after the early death of his father as an orphan from the mother. 1698-1701 he studied in Bologna, where he received his doctorate at the age of 19 years in medicine and philosophy. During the study period, in 1699, he became a member of the Accademia degli Inquieti ( Academy of restless ), a company founded in 1691 firm for the Advancement of Science, chaired by Morgagni in 1704 took over.

After completing his doctorate, he worked for several years at various hospitals in Bologna and as assistant to his teacher Antonio Maria Valsalva, for which he also took a one-year Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna. Together with Valsalva he undertook during this time anatomical studies, particularly in the larynx. The results, which he published as the first part of his Adversaria Anatomica 1706 and the Accademia degli Inquieti devoted, it also made ​​known outside Italy and already wore it in 1708 for membership in the German Academy of Sciences ( Leopoldina ) a.

1707 to 1709 he continued his studies in Venice. There he studied chemistry at Gian Girolamo Zannichelli (1662-1729) and led together with Gian Domenico Santorini (1681-1737) Sections through to human bodies. In June 1709 he returned to his hometown of Forli, where he worked successfully for two years as a general practitioner. During this time he married Paola Verazeri, the daughter of a distinguished family of Forli. From the union twelve daughters and three sons were born.

In September 1711 he was appointed to the University of Padua, first on the second chair of theoretical medicine. He held there on March 17, 1712 his inaugural lecture Nova institutionum medicarum idea. In September 1715 he then moved on the first Department of Anatomy, the most important in his faculty, which he retained until his death. In 1717 he published the second part of Adversaria Anatomica 1719 then the total of six parts summary Adversaria Omnia Anatomica, which once appeared in an enlarged edition in 1762. In addition to his teaching and research activities, he pursued in Padua and its previously trained in youth, versatile literary, archaeological and historical interests further, from which, among other things, a publication of letters to the tradition of the works of Aulus Cornelius Celsus and Serenus Samonicus emerged ( 1735).

1761, already eighty years old, he published his magnum opus, the five books of De sedibus et causis morborum by anatomist indagatis ( The seat and the causes of the diseases tracked by the anatomy). The results of approximately 640 sections, partly carried out by students Morgagnis be communicated therein in a total of 70 letters. According to the general approach Morgagnis, not according to disease symptoms due to the theoretical approach of the ancient humoral pathology due to an imbalance of the four humors, but to organic causes and this prove empirically, is the guiding interest of the identification and localization of organic causes of disease work. This is at the post-mortem examination on ( examination after death ) of disease-related anatomical changes in the organs and tries to reduce the organic " seat " of the disease in this way. Among the methods Morgagnis that contribute to the success of his empirical approach, include, among others, the systematic comparison of pathological findings in different bodies with comparable disease history. The work, which was translated into French ( 1765 ), English (1769 ) and German (1771 ), gained lasting influence on medicine throughout Europe and is considered the founding document of the scientific pathology.

Morgagni was in personal and epistolary connection to a large number of scientists and scholars of his time and was a member of a number of scientific societies, such as the already mentioned Accademia degli Inquieti and the Leopoldina, but also of the Academies of Sciences in London ( 1724), Paris ( 1731), St. Petersburg (1735 ) and Berlin ( 1754).


After Morgagni are in medical terminology, a number of findings identified (see Pschyrembel, Clinical Dictionary, 258th edition, 1988, p 1040 ):

  • Morgagni -Adams -Stokes attack, and Adams -Stokes syndrome, or MAS - attack: paroxysmal disorder of cerebral blood flow due to acute cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Morgagni - column, even Morgagni - hole ( trigone sternocostale dextrum ): Right-sided division of the diaphragm between the sternum and rib part.
  • Morgagni hernia: By Morgagni - column passing diaphragmatic hernia ( rupture ) of the diaphragm.
  • Hydatid of Morgagni, Morgagni also Appendix: appendages at the upper pole of the testis ( testicular appendage ) as a relic of the embryonic development, or similar appendage below the fallopian tube.
  • Morgagni cataract, cataract also Morgagniana: Special form of overripe cataract (cataract ), in which the hard core of the lens in the liquefied lens cortex falls down.
  • Morgagni syndrome, also Stewart - Morel - Morgagni syndrome or Morgagni 's triad, "Diabetes of bearded women " especially in older women occurring combination of obesity, hirsutism and hyperostosis frontalis interna.
  • Morgagni ventricle, also Morgagni Bag ( laryngeal ventricle ): Double-sided bulge of the larynx between ventricular band and vocal cord.