Adolph Kussmaul (February 22, 1822 - May 28, 1902) was a German physician and a leading clinician of his time. He was born as the son and grandson of physicians at Graben near Karlsruhe and studied at Heidelberg. He entered the army after graduation and spent two years as an army surgeon. This was followed by a period as a general practitioner before he went to Würzburg to study for his doctorate under Virchow.
He described two medical signs and one disease which have eponymous names that remain in use:
- Kussmaul breathing - Very deep and labored breathing with normal or reduced frequency seen in severe Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
- Kussmaul sign - Paradoxical rise in the Jugular venous pressure (JVP) on inhalation in Constrictive pericarditis or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Kussmaul disease (Also called Kussmaul-Maier disease) - Polyarteritis nodosa.
The following eponymous terms are considered archaic:
- First to describe dyslexia in 1877. (He called it 'word blindness'.)
- First to describe polyarteritis nodosa.
- First to describe progressive bulbar paralysis.
- First to diagnose mesenteric embolism.
- First to perform pleural tapping and gastric lavage.
- First to attempt oesophagoscopy and gastroscopy.
- B.G. Firkin & J.A.Whitworth (1987). Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. Parthenon Publishing. ISBN 1-85070-333-7
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