Zenker's diverticulum historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ajay Gade MD[2]]


The first description of Zenker's diverticulum (ZD) dates back to 1769 by Ludlow. It was named in 1877 by German pathologist Friedrich Albert von Zenker. The first description of Zenker's diverticulum dates back to 1769 by Ludlow. A century later, a German pathologist, Friedrich Albert von Zenker, recognized and further characterized the pathophysiology of this diverticulum. In 1877 Zenker and Ziemssen reviewed literature on the Zenker's diverticulum. In 1840 Rokitansky first described traction diverticula of the thoracic esophagus. Until 1816 , ZD was thought to be congenital or traumatic in origin. In 1877, von Zeimssen, a professor in Munich, published "Krankheiten des Oesophagus" on the esophageal ulceration and diverticula. Preliminary thoughts on managing pharyngoesophageal diverticula originated as early as 1830, when Bell proposed the establishment of a fistula to empty the diverticulum of its contents.

Historical Perspective

The history of the Zenker's diverticulu (ZD) is as follows:[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]


  1. "Zenker's diverticulum: exploring treatment options".
  2. "Zenker's diverticulum: exploring treatment options".
  3. "www.annalsthoracicsurgery.org".
  4. "Endoscopic treatment of Zenker's diverticulum - Gastrointestinal Endoscopy".
  5. Ludlow A. A case of obstructed deglutition, from a preternatural dilatation of, and bag formed in, the pharynx. Med Observations and Inquiries 1767;3:85-101
  6. Bell C. Surgical observations. London: Longmans, Greene and Co, 1816:6470
  7. Rokitansky C. Divertikel am Pharynx. Jahrb Dkk Osterr Staates 1840;30:222-5
  8. Zenker FA, von Ziemssen H. Krankheiten des Oesophagus. In: von Ziemssen H, ed. Handbuch der Speaellen Pathologie und Therapie, vol 7 (suppl). Leipzig: FC Vogel, 18rn1-87
  9. Killian G. La boudre de I’oesophage. Ann Ma1 Orielle Larynx 1908;Xl
  10. Bensaude R, Gregoire R, Guenaux G. Diagnostic et traitement des diverticules oesophagiens. Arch Ma1 App Digest 1922; 12: 145-203
  11. Bell C. Cited by Bensaude R, Gregoire R, Guenaux G. Diagnostic et traitement des diverticules oesophagiens. Arch Ma1 App Digest 1922;12:145-203
  12. Nicoladoni K. Behandlung der Oesophagusdivertikel. Wien Med Wochenschr 1877;25:606-607
  13. Kluge. Cited by Konig F. Die Krankheiten des unteren Theiles des Pharynx und des Oesophagus. Deutsche Chir 1880;35:94
  14. Niehans. Cited by Girard C. Du traitement des diverticules de Yoesophage. Congres Franc Chir 1896;10:392407
  15. Wheeler WI. Pharyngocele and dilatation of pharynx, with existing diverticulum at lower portion of pharynx lying posterior to the oesophagus, cured by pharyngotomy, being the first case of the kind recorded. Dublin J Med Sci 1886;82 349-57
  16. Von Bergmann E. Ueber den Oesophagusdivertikel und seine Behandlung. Arch Klin Chir 1892;43:1-30
  17. Kocher T. Das Oesophagusdivertikel und dessen Behandlung. Correspondblatt Schweiz Aerzte 1892;22:23?-44
  18. Butlin HF. On the removal of a pressure pouch of the oesophagus. Med Chir Trans 1893;76:269-78
  19. Schwarzenbach E. Zur operativen Behandlung und Aetiologie der Oesophagusdivertikel. Wien Klin Wochenschr 1893; 6:43540, 453-5, 474-6

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