Adolf Weil

Adolf Weil (1848 - 1916)

Adolf Weil (1848 – 1916) was a German physician.

Born in Heidelburg, 1848, Weil obtained his M.D in 1871 from the University of Heidelberg. He became privat-docent in special pathology and therapy in 1872 for four years, and assistant professor of syphilology in 1876, both in Heidelberg. In 1886, he became Professor of special pathology and therapy in Dorpat, following the death of his previous supervisor, Friedreich.

Weil is best known for his eponymous affiliation with Weil disease (1886). Weil described the disease which he had observed in four separate patients between 1870 and 1882, concluding the cases to be so similar that they must be the same disease.

Other achievements include his discovery of an alpha-amino acid known as norleucine with Emil Abderhalden (1877–1950) in 1913.

Biography
  • Born February 7, 1848, in Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1871 – Studied at the Universities of Heidelbery, Berlin and Vienna, obtaining his M.D. from the University of Heidelberg.
  • 1872 – First worked as Privat-docent (private lecturer) in special pathology and therapy, as Friedreich Theodor Von Freirich’s assistant, under whom he had studied during his time at University.
  • 1876 – Assistant professor of syphilology in Heidelberg.
  • 1886 – Professor of special pathology and therapy in Dorpat following the death of his previous supervisor, Friedreich.
  • 1886 – Published Ueber einer eigenhuemliche, mit Milztumor, Icterus un Nephritis einhergehende, acute Infektionskrankheit, which contains the first description of Weil disease.
  • 1887 – Weil gave up his Professorship only a year after appointment due to illness; Weil contracted tuberculosis of the larynx, losing his voice permanently.
  • 1893 – Settled and continued to practice in Wiesbaden.
  • 1913 – Discovered norleucine.
  • Died July 23, 1916 in Wiesbaden, succumbing to tuberculosis.

Medical Eponyms
Weil disease (1886)

An ‘acute infectious disease with enlargement of spleen, jaundice, and nephritis‘, documenting the disease now known as Weil’s disease.

Weil observed two patients in 1882 that presented to his clinic presenting with near identical symptoms to those he had observed earlier in 1870.

Die 4 bescbriebenen Fälle bieten so viel Uebereinstimmendes, dass sie wohl gemeinsam besprochen werden können. In allen vier Fällen handelte es sich am acut fieberhafte, mit schweren nervösen Erscheinungen, ausserdem mit Schwellung der Milz und Leber, Jcterus, nephritischen Symptomen einhergehende Erkrankungen, die aber nach verhältnissmässig kurzer Dauer des schweren Krankheitsbildes einen raschen gflnstigen Verlauf nahmen.

Weil A. Ueber einer eigenhuemliche, mit Milztumor, Icterus un Nephritis einhergehende, acute Infektionskrankheit. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medizin. 1886; 39: 209-232

The four cases described offer so much in common that that they can probably be discussed together. In all four cases were acute fevers, with severe nervous symptoms, also with swelling of the spleen and liver, icterus, diseases associated with nephritic symptoms, but which, after a relatively short duration of the severe clinical picture, took a rapid and favorable course.

Weil A. Ueber einer eigenhuemliche, mit Milztumor, Icterus un Nephritis einhergehende, acute Infektionskrankheit. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medizin. 1886; 39: 209-232

Weil carefully documented the timing and symptoms of all four patient’s, documenting the similarities and considering possible diagnoses. Weil decided on clinical grounds that these cases represented a new entity.


Major Publications

References

Biography

Eponymous terms


eponymictionary CTA

eponym

the person behind the name

Studied Physiological Sciences BA (Hons), followed by Medicine at the University of Oxford BM BCh. British doctor currently working in emergency medicine in Perth, Australia. Special interests include acute internal medicine and emergency medicine.

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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